Books: Inspirations Novelist
Saturday 10 October 1998
Right now, Santa Anita Racetrack, Pasadena. There are mountains behind the track that you look out on while you watch the horses. There are lots of topiary bushes in the shape of horses and foals, and it's painted in peach and green. It is the essence of southern California.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard. I saw it when I was 18 and it came as a revelation to me that you could fiddle with the classics.
I may never see them again, but the medieval mosaics at Ravenna, Italy. When I saw them in 1971 they had just been cleaned. It was like walking into an astonishing universe of colour - revisiting a vivid past in gold and deep cerulean blue.
Ashes and Diamonds by Andrzej Wajda. I've seen it seven times. It's very subtle in its approach to political partisanship, showing how difficult it is, no matter what your convictions, to turn away from or hurt those you feel connected to. It's the tragedy of politics.
Mozart's string quintet number 3 in C major. All of it is wonderful. It fills you up with a deeply satisfying harmonic feeling, but has great energy and dynamism.
Jane Smiley's new novel ``The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton" is published by Flamingo
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish independence results live: Reunited kingdom - Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum
- 2 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 3 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams cast in Channel 4 drama about cyber bullying
Downton Abbey: Liam Neeson wants role as stableman in period drama
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Star Wars 7 leaked photo of Adam Driver changes everything
The Walking Dead season 5 synopsis: Spoilers and existential questions revealed
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'