THE BLOG

10 Writers: On the Magic of Reading

02/21/2014 10:45 am ET | Updated Apr 23, 2014

Enjoy these 10 acclaimed writers as they reveal what the magic of reading is to them, and why they feel literature is so powerful.

Literature is a place where you can find both knowledge and comfort, as well as a chance to rediscover childhood imagination. Writing is an act of transformation, offering absolute freedom. Meet ten significant writers in this short anthology on the magic of reading and writing:

There are situations in life where only literature and poetry can console you, says American writer Jonathan Safran Foer (b. 1977). As a child Swedish writer Kerstin Ekman (b. 1933) believed that fiction was real life, while her fellow-countryman, crime novelist Henning Mankell (b. 1948), argues that the real artist is the child asking the difficult questions. Norwegian writers Linn Ullmann (b. 1966) and Tomas Espedal (b. 1961) talk about how their mothers influenced their reading, and Norwegian-American Siri Hustvedt (b. 1955) explains that the only way to discover literature is to find your own path through it. German Nobel laureate Günter Grass (b. 1927) and American Richard Ford (b.1944) underline the importance of language in defining who we are. Finally, American writers David Vann (b. 1966) and Nicole Krauss (b. 1974) combine the experience of reading and writing: "On the blank page you can decide to become anything," Krauss states.