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
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Ashya King missing: Police hunt five-year-old boy with brain tumour snatched from Southampton hospital by his parents
- 2 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
- 5 Friends reunion: Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Great British Bake Off 2014: Diana Beard quits after falling ill
Friends reunion: Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Breaking Bad season 6 hoax: Vince Gilligan has not confirmed a new series
Strictly Come Dancing v X Factor: Simon Cowell blasts BBC over scheduling war
Doctor Who series 8: Ofcom will not investigate lesbian kiss
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
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