Thu 21 November 2019
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Read 'em and keep: what are the books to pass on to the next generation?
If you had only one book to pass on to the next generation, what would it be? Writers and readers name the classics they most treasure

Word of mouth – and its more formal big sisters, reading groups or prize lists – is still one of the most effective ways of promoting good writing, even in these days of ebooks and downloads. To honour that, the Orange prize for fiction has joined forces with Vintage Classics to ask 100 people to name the one book they would pass on to the next generation – their so-called inheritance classic.

The choices are fascinating. Certain authors make more than one appearance: Woolf, Austen, Tolstoy, Hardy, Faulkner, Misses C and E Brontë, Orwell, Harper Lee and Homer had more mentions than I'd have expected. Interesting, too, was how proportionately few contemporary novels make the cut – White Teeth, Wolf Hall and Trainspotting are here, but no Money or Saturday.

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