The BBC News Presenter and correspondent, a trustee of the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association, shares her castaway choices

Tender is the Night
by F Scott Fitzgerald

I love this bittersweet novel set in the 1930s about a glamorous group of Americans in the south of France. It follows the fortunes of Dick Diver, a young psychiatrist, and his wife Nicole who was originally one of his patients. It’s about desire, ambition, loss of integrity – and mental illness. The title is taken from John Keats’ masterpiece Ode to a Nightingale.

The Namesake
by Jhumpa Lahiri

This novel about cultural identity, and how immigrants and their children relate to their new countries and to each other, resonates strongly with me. The plot moves between the US and India, and specifically Kolkata, which is where my wider family is from. Lahiri is masterful at the tensions and subtleties of cultural conflict, as well as at story-telling, and this novel is deeply moving.

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I am fascinated by what immigration does to a person’s sense of who they are, and Americanah is an all-time favourite. The main character is a young Nigerian woman who goes to America for the first time, and becomes in her words a Non-American Black, discovering what it means to be a ‘Black Person.’ The author writes with tremendous verve, wit and insight.

by Mary Shelley

I will need one classic on my desert island and this is it. Written when Mary Shelley was only 18 years old, it is an astonishingly accomplished work not about a monster, as popular culture would have it, but about a man-made Creature with human needs who is then shunned by the people around him. It is in its own way another novel about an outsider.

Leaving the Atocha Station
by Ben Lerner

This knowing, wry, acerbic novel makes me laugh out loud. The main character is an anti-hero, a pretentious and unscrupulous American living in Madrid. His accounts of living in a foreign language, and of hiding behind a pretence of not understanding, are painfully funny. This was Lerner’s first novel and a brilliant debut.

This year, KSMA will mark the bicentenary of the death of Lord Byron with a programme of events and activities in London and Rome. On April 9 and 10, there will be a performance of Lord Byron and John Murray: A Remarkable Friendship, at 50 Albemarle Street. See Byron 200 for details.