Book Club / People

Ilkin Kurt talks Harper Lee and the book that changed her life

When we’re not quizzing her on beauty essentials or coveting her vintage closet steals, you’re likely to find us cornering fashion consultant and stylist Ilkin Kurt for her current reading list. From the lessons taught by To Kill a Mockingbird to the ‘keep a tissue beside you’ read that had her sobbing, Kurt shares her personal literary favourites for RUSSH Book Club.

The last book I read … A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. Heartbreaking, brilliant and too much sobbing … a ‘keep a tissue beside you’ kinda book.

I am currently reading …
I’m actually re-reading Ways of Seeing by John Berger, and highly recommend it.

My favourite book …
Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. It is arguably literature’s greatest study of shallowness, vanity, casual cruelty and hedonistic selfishness.

My actual favourite book …
I guess my father’s poetry book which came out last year (Benden Size by Ali Kurt), You are an Animal Viskovitz by Alessandro Boffa, a photo book by Diane Arbus, Revelations.

The character I most identify with is …
Grayson Perry – himself.

The book that changed my life is … 1984 by George Orwell. This changed the way that I looked at ideologies and leadership. It is brutal and genius at the same time.

The best book I ever received is…
Grayson Perry’s The Descent of Man. This book is an interesting and non-judgmental look at masculinity and the effect it has had on the female sex psychologically and every other way. Perry makes some really funny and spot-on observations.

The book I would give as a gift is …
Alain de Botton The Course of Love. Wise and clever.

My childhood favourite book …
Maniac McGee by Jerry Spinelli.

My favourite writer is … Hard to choose. Joan Didion, Orhan Pamuk. Because … I appreciate their mind and pen portrait. I also always love the classics: Dickens, Hemingway and Chekhov are really amazing writers of their eras.

The book everyone should read at least once is… To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, it is truly wonderful. There is sadness and happiness, racism and equality, immaturity and maturity, injustice and redemption …