Writer-actress picks Rabbit for her desert island companion

TV watchers know British actress Katy Brand for such series as Katy Brand’s Big Ass Show, Nanny McPhee Returns, Psychobitches, and a very funny performance as Queen Elizabeth I on the U.K. version of Drunk History. Readers know her for her recently released I Carried a Watermelon: Dirty Dancing and Me, described as “a warm, witty and accessible look at how Katy Brand’s life-long obsession with the film has influenced her own attitudes on sex, love, romance, rights, and responsibilities.” And she’s also at least somewhat obsessed with John Updike’s Rabbit tetralogy.

Brand—who told The Daily Mail that she just finished reading The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (she prefers The Handmaid’s Tale), confessed that she finds Charles Dickens “too perfectly realized and described–it feels as if there’s no room for me,” and finds Virginia Woolf “difficult to get along with”—named the full Rabbit collection by Updike as the book she would take to a desert island. “The first one is Rabbit, Run, then there are several more. I love the way he creates that mood of the American Dream without fully endorsing it.

“If I were allowed a couple more, I’d take Portnoy’s Complaint, by Philip Roth, which is funny and filthy and I love it, and also a couple by Jackie Collins and Jilly Cooper, to cheer me up.

“They are two authors who always improve my mood if I’m feeling a little bleak. And maybe I’d sneak in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4, by the comic genius Sue Townsend.”

Read the full interview

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