In her second book, My Life in Middlemarch, New Yorker staff writer Rebecca Mead offers a thoughtful examination of the book that has turned out to be a touchstone of her life. We caught up with Mead to ask her a few questions about this personal look at a beloved classic.
George Eliot’s Middlemarch is a crowning achievement among Victorian novels—a canon with its fair share of weighty masterworks. Admired by generations of writers, including Virginia Woolf, who called it “one of the few English novels written for grown-up people,” it holds primacy of place on many readers’ “to be read” lists, though many probably never get to the somewhat daunting task. Not so Rebecca Mead, a staff writer for The New Yorker, who first read the novel when she was 17 and has re-read it many times since.