Born in small-town Georgia in 1948, Sue Monk Kidd is an award-winning American writer whose work explores themes of faith, family, and feminism in the American South. When her debut novel The Secret Life of Bees was published in 2002, it became a bonafide literary sensation – spending more than 2½ years on the New York Times bestseller list. A coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, it’s since been translated into 36 languages and sold over 8 million copies worldwide.
Kidd’s other notable works include 2005’s The Mermaid Chair, 2014’s The Invention of Wings, and 2020’s much-anticipated The Book of Longings – a radical reimagining of the New Testament as told through the eyes of Ana, a rebellious writer striving to give voice to the silenced women surrounding her. While discussing the book with TCU Magazine last year, Kidd was kind enough to share some of her own favorite reads, both fiction and non-fiction.
From Alice Walker to Rainer Maria Rilke, find her recommendations below.
Sue Monk Kidd’s Reading List
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
Lying Awake by Mark Salzman
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Snowflower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
Thirteen Stories by Eudora Welty
Holy Misogyny by April Deconick
Time and the Soul by Jacob Needleman
An Interrupted Life by Etty Hillesum
Memories, Dreams, Reflections by C.G. Jung
Cassandra Speaks by Elizabeth Lesser
New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton
(via TCU Magazine)