"Growing up in a mill town in Rhode Island, in a household that didn't foster a love of literature, Ann Hood discovered nonetheless the companionship of books. She learned to channel her imagination, ambitions, and curiosity by devouring ever-growing stacks. In Morningstar, Hood recollects how The Bell Jar, Marjorie Morningstar, The Harrad Experiment, and The Outsiders influenced her teen psyche and introduced her to topics that could not be discussed at home: desire, fear, sexuality and madness. Later, Johnny Got His Gun and The Grapes of Wrath dramatically influenced her political thinking while the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings became headline news, and classics such as Dr. Zhivago and Les Misérables stoked her ambitions to travel the world. With characteristic insight and charm, Hood showcases the ways in which books gave her life and can transform--even save--our own lives."--Jacket. Reveals the personal stories behind the author's written works, describing her early years in a Rhode Island mill town and the books that shaped her love of literature, her political views, and her travel ambitions.