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My life in books

Emma Merton is an English and drama teacher at Bristol Brunel Academy

Emma Merton is an English and drama teacher at Bristol Brunel Academy

What I'm reading

The Master and Margarita

By Mikhail Bulgakov

I have just started reading this. It is set in post-revolutionary Russia, and I'm fascinated by the history of that period. I just love all things Russian: I'm fascinated by Communism, the Russian revolution, Russian history. I saw a production of White Guard, by the same author, at the National Theatre recently, and thought: "Oh, I'll read The Master and Margarita as well."

The book I loved as a child

The Wind in the Willows

By Kenneth Grahame

I loved this. I remember the characters vividly: Mr Toad and sensible Rat and cowardly Mole. I had teachers at school whom I imagined as the characters. One dressed like an Oxbridge student, with boating ties, like Rat; the other wore little glasses, like Moley. That brought it to life for me. I'm sure the teachers would think it was a compliment to be associated with those characters.

Read this before you die

The Great Gatsby

By F Scott Fitzgerald

I read it first when I was 16. I find the way that it's written absolutely mesmerising. It creates an atmosphere of 1920s jazz-age America, but it's also very clever and quite close to the bone. Later, I studied it at university, and it improves each time you read it. But you never quite lose the wonder of the first reading because it's so great. Epic.

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