Episode 9

Sunetra Gupta

Epidemiologist and professor of theoretical epidemiology at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford.

Sunetra Gupta is an epidemiologist and a professor of theoretical epidemiology at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford. Other than being a distinguished epidemiologist, she is also a well-known novelist who has published several novels.




Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

She read the book when she was around 11 years old. At that very young age, she was not familiar with the social structure where tension and disorder are very evident as in the story. The book influenced her as a child on how a story could be told: just a liner narrative or complex perspectives.

One of the things she loves about this book is the fact that there are multiple gazes allowing us to see wonderful perspectives.

Albert Camus, The Plage

She read it when she was between 16 and 18 years old. The story navigates the challenges humanity is facing as a community or species. Camus inspired her literary side and she likes how Camus's writing is experimental in a playful way.

Lawrence Durrell, Justine

One of her father's favorite books, it had been in the air during her childhood and she knew that she must read it.

She thinks that there is an extreme connection with the landscape in the book, and the writer was able to make characters into landscape, into abstractions.

Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

She read the book when she was around 16 and 17 years old. It was worship book for her. It significantly opened up her possibilities in using languages: how languages could be manipulated and how one could use fantasy elements and subtle elements to reveal the truth of the real.

Vladimir Nabokov, Ada

She read the book as an undergraduate student. For her, it's where the visceral and cerebral unite.

Samuel Beckett, Murphy

She read the book in her early 20s. Reading Murphy was a pure joy and she was astounded by how one can find joy within the bleak. Murphy remains a mystery to her as she hasn't completely make sense of it.

Amit Chaudhuri, Afternoon Raag

She didn't read the book in her childhood but the book has a real impact on her. She read it when she was a graduate student. The book transformed her relationship with writing.

Rabindranath Tagore, Jogajog

She read the book in her high school during the period where she was mostly reading in Bangali. The woman character that Tagore articulate gracefully and delicately with such depth is what attracted her to this book.