by Theodore Dreiser
Fisher Stevens, the actor and producer, gave me this book on opening night of my first Broadway show, Carousel. It's about a girl named Carrie who works very hard to become someone. I found it powerful material. Dreiser wrote a devastating love story: A successful man in the middle of his life falls in love with Carrie and is destroyed when she leaves him. He loses everything while she becomes a giant star of the New York stage.