Way back in the late 20th century when I was a teenager and the genre fiction 'industry,' with its absurdly blood-soaked TV tie ins hadn't been invented, I (and many others my age) slumped on the sofa with the novels of DH Lawrence - yes, really- with EM Forster, Emile Zola and of course, a bit of Shakespeare. This is what was available and if you had parents who were not great readers, this was rebellion. Here I could access a world that they didn't inhabit, that they perhaps found threatening. Here the seeds of both aspiration and rebellion were sown.
My escape was total as I swam all day through these page and as I swam I began to form independent ideas about what it is to lead a good and useful life, about what really matters and what is merely life's coffee foam.
My thoughts formed into the actions I would later take, and am still taking in middle age, to live differently, to find out who I truly am and be faithful to that.
A return to the classics is a step forward from where we are now, being spoon fed slickly marketed thrill - lit that constricts our vocabulary, our thinking and, consequently, the narratives we choose for our lives.
Next time - some great women writers