Carol Anshaw

Carol Anshaw is a Chicago- and Amsterdam-based novelist and short story writer.

Selected Works:

Seven Moves, Aquamarine and Lucky in the Corner


Included in the 1994 ("Hammam") and 1998 ("Elvis Has Left the Building") Best American Short Stories anthologies.

Visit Author Website

Which one or two American books or plays would you yourself recommend to the foreign leaders?

Underworld by Don DeLillo
A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor

Who in your childhood–for example, parent or teacher—encouraged you to read books, and which one or two books do you remember most fondly?

My parents were uneducated. No teachers had time to take an interest in my reading. There were 70 students per class and the slow readers brought everything to a crawl, so in the early grades I read my books upside down to make reading interesting. My father would take me to the library every Saturday morning to bring back a stack of books and pick out a new stack. I read indiscriminately as I had no means of discrimination.


Which books by writers of the other G8 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom) have been most important to you as a writer?

The stories of Alice Munro have been a beacon to me as a writer. I read everything by Haruki Murakami. I am a huge fan of Rachel Cusk, a great modern novelist of manners. And of course, like all writers, I owe a huge debt to Virginia Woolf.

What is the Power of the Word Exhibit?

Power of the Word: Leaders, Readers and Writers is the first online exhibition of The American Writers Museum. As world leaders gather in the U.S. this spring, The American Writers Museum Foundation is inviting American writers and readers to explore the power of the word and join in a discussion of how American books can help readers in other parts of the world better understand our culture.

Leaders Gallery

An exploration into what some of the world’s most powerful leaders like to read, and how reading has influenced them.

Writers Gallery

American writers comment on their early experiences with reading and name the books they think world leaders should read in order to better understand American culture.

Readers Gallery

An interactive, open forum where readers are invited to join the discussion by answering the question: Which American works of literature do you think leaders from other nations should read in order to gain a better understanding of America?

We would like to thank our exhibit sponsors for their generous support:


What is The American Writers Museum?

The mission of The American Writers Museum Foundation is to establish the first national museum in the United States dedicated to engaging the public in celebrating American writers and exploring their influence on our history, our identity, our culture and our daily lives. Learn more at