Pen & Globe

Like a Virgin

Place: Istanbul

Drink: 2014 Neethlingshof Estate Owl Post Pinotage

With A Simple Game, I realizeWine, book not only do I join the ranks of published authors I also inevitably join the ranks of first-time authors. This got me wondering, while sipping an amazing pinotage recently purchased in Cape Town and watching snowflakes fall over the Bosporus: What is the greatest debut novel ever written?

A quick search provided a fascinating if intimidating list, including such classics as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Margaret Mitchell’s lone novel Gone with the Wind, and more recently J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter.  Oh, and men have had a few decent contributions, too, including Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.  Great novels all, but after some soul searching and a few more sips of wine, I came up with my three favorites, which blow my mind to think they were all virginal efforts:

3. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger – for me, the definitive coming-of-age story

2. The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles – an underrated cross-cultural classic

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – nearly as good as it gets in the English language

Too much wine or do you agree?

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