Three Authors That Changed My Life.

Harriet Norris
2 min readJun 16, 2021

To begin, we shall visit a much-loved playwright who’s work changed the literary world for the better; the man, the myth, the legend, William Shakespeare. Although I enjoyed many of his plays growing up, Macbeth was the play that made me truly understand for the first time, the absolute brilliance and genius of his work. I studied Macbeth in many forms- for GCSE English, where I learned the historical and social context that frames the play, and the brilliant devices Shakespeare used. For GCSE drama, where I performed it everywhere from the beautiful, sunny RSC in Stratford-Upon-Avon to the mysterious and rainy Willow Globe in Wales. Needless to say, this play not only increased my love for Shakespeare, but for the first time gave me an idea that I might want to study English at university, rather than law.

The second notable author to mention is of course the incredible Malorie Blackman. Malorie Blackman was one of those authors that I just couldn’t get enough of. I came across ‘Noughts and Crosses’ by chance at age 8, but once I started, I couldn’t put it down. Before that book, if you’d asked me what ‘racism’ was, I would’ve been able to give you a basic definition, but nothing more- the way that Blackman successfully turns the white and black power dynamics completely on its head perfectly highlights the issue of systemic racism. Truthfully, I could go on about what an amazing series it is for days. But instead, I will simply recommend you to read as many of Blackman’s books as you can.

Finally, the third author that changed my life, really in the past two years, is Sylvia Plath. I came across her writing when I was looking at modernist writers similar to that of Virginia Woolf. I’d read The Bell Jar some years before, and hadn’t really connected with it, but upon the recommendation of my trusted English teacher, I agreed to try again. And it was mind-blowing. As I was reading it, I wanted to note every single sentence down, every brilliant use of imagery and every stunning, insightful comment. I fell down a Sylvia Plath worm-hole: I read all of her poetry anthologies, I watched every lecture I could about her work and I googled every academic paper I could on the incredible intricacies behind ‘The Bell Jar’.