While she is known for her iconic performances in culturally significant gems such as Taxi Driver and The Silence of the Lambs, Jodie Foster has continued to forge ahead with new projects. In recent years, she has ventured into directorial gigs and has even helmed episodes of wildly popular series such as Black Mirror and Orange Is the New Black.
Born in Los Angeles, Foster entered the entertainment industry at a very young age. She was a child model at the age of three and was characterised as a gifted child who had learnt how to read at that age as well. Her fluency in French enabled her to read a lot of impactful works of literature and she ended up becoming the valedictorian of her high school’s French division.
Foster’s academic prowess is not just evident from her taste in literature but also her credentials. Being the intelligent student that she was, Foster managed to get into Yale University and majored in African-American literature. She graduated magna cum laude and did her thesis under the famous literary critic Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
While recalling her graduate thesis on Toni Morrison, Foster claimed that Morrison’s Song of Solomon was one of her favourite literary works of all time. Foster claimed that Morrison’s artistic vision and voice was unparalleled: “I think Morrison has the most deeply poetic voice in contemporary American fiction, and I have never missed reading anything she’s written.”
Check out a list of Jodie Foster’s favourite literary masterpieces below.
Jodie Foster’s favourite books:
- The Flowers of Evil – Charles Baudelaire
- Song of Solomon – Toni Morrison
- Cathedral – Raymond Carver
- The Complete Greek Tragedies: Euripides
- Naked – David Sedaris
- Letters to a Young Poet – Rainer Maria Rilke
Given her background in French studies, it is understandable why Foster felt drawn to Baudelaire’s works. While many people around the world read translated versions of his poetry, Foster had the privilege to read the original musings of the French master and it had a lasting impact on her.
“I went to the French lycée in Los Angeles, and, like every high school student in the French school system, I studied the work of 19th-century poet Charles Baudelaire,” Foster recalled. “At 15, the height of brooding and dark self-discovery, I recited his poems by heart and thrilled to the exotic language, filled with taboo ideas and strange metaphors involving death and decay. It’s a must-read for any depressed adolescent.”