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By The Book: Daisy Garnett

By The Book: Daisy Garnett

Former Beauty Editor of US Vogue, Daisy Garnett has spent her lifetime nosing the pages of different publications, whether in research for her own book, Cooking Lessons, or crafting the fashion bylines that made her name. Garnett let us take a glimpse at her bookshelf, with her reading list for the summer, in this first instalment of By the Book.

You write about fashion, and cooking – two topics which can appear impenetrable to outsiders. How do you make them relatable or universal?

I think if you really love something then you are in. Even if you need to unravel something you’re looking at or reading – a poem, say, or a painting – if you love it, if it speaks to you, then you’re already accessing it in some powerful way. And if you write about it without pretension, simply and straightforwardly, trying to convey why it is worthy, not of being written about, but of being read about by someone else, then you can’t fail.

Where do you enjoy doing your writing or reading?

I enjoy reading anywhere. I use public transport to get around, and I love reading on a long tube journey. Of course, it is on holiday that you tend to have the most time to read and I love the luxury, which I don’t have in my everyday life, of knowing I have hours of reading time in my day. I write mostly at my desk in London, where I live, or else on a laptop in a library – any library will do. I don’t always enjoy writing however. I find it hard; that’s as it should be.

What grips you in a book?

Writing that is bristling with energy.

What would your ‘desert island book’ be?

Middlemarch by George Elliot. That book contains every secret.

As a writer, what turns you off?

That weird style of writing that is often used in the art world, and can be nonsensical.

What’s your favourite line from literature?

Prospero’s famous line in The Tempest: “We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.’

Who’s your hero in fiction?

Felix Young from The Europeans by Henry James.

Who’s your literary icon?

Two of them; Mary Wollstencraft, and her daughter, Mary Shelley.