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Frieda Hughes's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Frieda Hughes recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Frieda Hughes's favorite book recommendations of all time.


The World's Wife

Be terrified.
It's you I love,
perfect man,
Greek God, my own;
but I know you'll go,
betray me, stray
from home.
So better by far for
me if you were stone.
—from "Medusa"

Stunningly original and haunting, the voices of Mrs. Midas, Queen Kong, and Frau Freud, to say nothing of the Devil's Wife herself, startle us with their wit, imagination, and incisiveness in this collection of poems written from the perspectives of the wives, sisters, or girlfriends of famous — and...
Recommended by Frieda Hughes, and 1 others.

Frieda HughesI love this book. I wrote a book called Waxworks based on mythological, biblical and historical characters. But what Carol Ann did was use their wives – wives like Mrs Faust, who refers to her husband as ‘an absolute berk’. She really doesn’t pull punches and she writes with a certain strength and mastery. She is a witty, intelligent, shocking yet compassionate writer with a rich source of... (Source)

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Poems 1980-1994

Poems 1980-1994 shows Kinsella's much-discussed range, moving from landscape poems and "anti-pastorals", to poems that construct alternative mythologies, poems on art, and even some experimental writing. less
Recommended by Frieda Hughes, and 1 others.

Frieda HughesI first met John Kinsella when he was interviewing me. He’s terrifyingly sharp and astute and poetically eloquent. He doesn’t miss anything, in his poetry or anyone else’s, and it was a rather terrifying interview on stage. I say terrifying as it was early on in my poetry-writing; I was reading some of my poetry, and he was interviewing me in front of an audience. I am always interested in how he... (Source)

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Cloud Cuckoo Land

Recommended by Frieda Hughes, and 1 others.

Frieda HughesArmitage has an idiosyncratic view of the world and an extremely interesting way of delivering that view. He makes me think twice about almost everything he writes, and quite often there’s such a twist in his sense of humour, I find it irresistible. I love this: ‘Staring into a specimen cell of my own blood, I saw a microdot of my own face looking back up, I jumped away from the lens alarmed like... (Source)

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Poet Reclining

The definitive edition of his work, including all the best poetry Smith published from 1962 to 1980, as well as some previously unpublished poems. less
Recommended by Frieda Hughes, and 1 others.

Frieda HughesI always like selected poems from a poet because it gives a good cross section of their psyche. I also like somebody in a nice shiny Bloodaxe book. When I was writing the poetry column for The Times for a couple of years, and I had to plough through reams and reams of books, I had to find two things: first, a poet I liked, and second, a poem I could actually write a little story about. One of the... (Source)

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The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas

The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas contains poems that Thomas personally decided best represented his work. A year before its publication Thomas died from swelling of the brain triggered by excessive drinking.

Since its initial publication in 1953, this book has become the definitive edition of the poet’s work. Thomas wrote “Prologue” addressed to “my readers, the strangers” — an introduction in verse that was the last poem he would ever write. Also included are classics such as “And Death Shall Have No Dominion,” “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good...
Recommended by Steve Jobs, Frieda Hughes, and 2 others.

Frieda HughesYes, let’s. I love a ‘collected poems’ because it gives you everything, so it’s very good value for money! (Source)

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