A dog-eared copy of Crime and Punishment changed his life. My friend Basharat Peer from Tehelka told me the story of Iqbal Ahmed, who left Kashmir in 1993 to work in London. He was 26. Iqbal worked at a number of places and is currently a porter in a London hotel. It was in Kashmir that he got hold of the classic book and decided to become a writer. His loneliness as an immigrant and the way London failed him inspired him to write a book titled: Sorrows of the Moon, A Journey Through London.
You can read his experiences he shared with the London Review of Books here.