Books: Inspirations - Novelist Anne Fine

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The music

Bach, Mozart and Beethoven have always meant the most to me. But there are a host of pop songs from my youth that make my heart turn over fast enough.

The play

I'm not crazy about plays in theatres. They always seem so overwrought. Some films of plays - like Branagh's Hamlet - don't raise my hackles that way. But I'd rather stick to reading Shakespeare, and going to comedies instead: Sheridan, Stoppard, Ayckbourn.

The place

Landscaped gardens by people like Capability Brown. The joy is to know a place in all weathers and all times of the year. I've taken more pleasure from the grounds at Stowe than anywhere else.

The film

Altman's my favourite director. McCabe And Mrs Miller and Ridley Scott's The Duellists are my two favourite films - maybe because Julie Christie and Harvey Keitel are, for me, the two most seductive faces on screen.

The artwork

I grew up without anyone teaching me the first thing about how to look at a painting. My favourites change as I see more. But Turner's landscapes and Sargent's portraits always stay with me longest.

Anne Fine's new novel is `Charm School', published by Doubleday (pounds 10.99)

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