Scott Turow

Scott Turow is a Chicago-based novelist and essayist.

Selected Works:

Burden of Proof, Presumed Innocent, Personal Injuries


2003 Heartland Prize (Reversible Errors), 2004 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award (Ultimate Punishment), 1999 Time magazine's Best Work of Fiction (Personal Injuries)

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

I suspect these foreign leaders understand much more about the U.S. than most of us do of their countries. Given that, I'd choose "The Bear" by William Faulkner and Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller; in case they are fully familiar with both works, then I'd say the poems of Emily Dickinson, which are always surprising no matter how many times you have read them.

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 mom, a writer herself, loved to read and always encouraged my sister and me, including by reading to us when we were young. Of those books, none moved me quite so much as Black Beauty.

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?

Two British writers, Dickens and Graham Greene, had an enormous impact on me.

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