"Did you ever read Lord Jim?"

 Lord Jim is an 1899 novel by Joseph Conrad (1857-1924). It is said to be based on true events, although Conrad never confirmed this. In the novel, a sailor called Jim abandons his ship during a momentary lapse of reason, along with his ship's captain and other members of the crew. The rest of the novel recounts Jim's attempts to overcome this lapse and be seen as a hero. Like many novels mentioned in Sophie's Choice, Conrad's work explores the themes of guilt and redemption.