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Agatha Christie to Kafka: Imagining the writers’ favorite plants

When I read a book, I often wonder about the inner workings of its author. What books did you read as children? Is your work inspired by anyone? Did you have houseplants?

This comic imagines answers to the latter question. For example, if Agatha Christie had a favorite houseplant, it could be the monstera. The Swiss cheese plant may have forked leaves, but they can grow large enough to hide a corpse. Meanwhile, cat fanatic Haruki Murakami may like to grow catnip, while Joan Didion may prefer wallflowers. Read on for even more plant theories just for fun.

An illustration of a woman hiding behind a plant.

“Agatha Christie, Monstera: a plant so big you can hide a body in it!”

(Kelsey Davenport / For the Times)

An illustration of a beetle eating a leaf.

“Franz Kafka, oak leaf: satisfies the most sudden and unnatural cravings…”

(Kelsey Davenport / For the Times)

An illustration of two cats.

“Haruki Murakami, Catnip: a handy plant for attracting stray nearby cats.”

(Kelsey Davenport / For the Times)

An illustration of a person standing next to a giant potted plant.

“Leo Tolstoy: every dying plant: happy plants are all the same, every unhappy plant is unhappy in its own way.”

(Kelsey Davenport / For the Times)

An illustration of a woman wearing sunglasses standing next to other people.

“Joan Didion, Wallflower: The one in the corner who eavesdrops on your conversations – and takes notes.”

(Kelsey Davenport / For the Times)

An illustration of a woman smelling a flower amid trees and other foliage.

“Toni Morrison, Dandelion: likes it even more because everyone thinks it’s a weed.”

(Kelsey Davenport / For the Times)

An illustration of a man in armor sitting astride a horse and looking at palm trees.

“Windmill Palm: Appreciates their beauty, but secretly suspects they are giants.”

(Kelsey Davenport / For the Times)

An illustration of a venus flytrap and heart in a glass case on a table, with a bird looking on.

“Edgar Allan Poe, the Venus Flytrap: No doubt he’s working on some problems!”

(Kelsey Davenport / For the Times)

A bearded man with a hat and feather is standing in front of some trees.

“William Shakespeare, Belladonna: A.k.a. deadly nightshade, he respects his flair for drama.”

(Kelsey Davenport / For the Times)

An illustration of a three-legged stand.

“Thomas Pynchon: It was impossible to find Thomas Pynchon’s favorite plant.”

(Kelsey Davenport / For the Times)

Kelsey Davenport is a designer and illustrator based in Los Angeles. Follow @latimesplants on Instagram.

https://www.latimes.com/lifestyle/story/2022-03-07/agatha-christie-joan-didion-franz-kafka-favorite-plants Agatha Christie to Kafka: Imagining the writers’ favorite plants

Russell Falcon

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