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
The best TV shows and films coming to the servicetv
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 2 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 3 Robert Mugabe eats a zoo for 'obscene' 91st birthday party
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 The jihadi girls who went to Syria weren't just radicalised by Isis — they were groomed
Broadchurch series 3: David Tennant and Olivia Colman to return for third season, ITV confirms
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
Indian Summers recommissioned: Channel 4 confirm a second series of British Empire drama
Spectre: Director Sam Mendes teases clips from upcoming James Bond movie
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'