Alison Moore, novelist: 'I'm full of admiration for Maya Angelou's spirited approach to life'


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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

I'm in Avignon, overlooking the Place de l'Horloge. It's very busy – fantastic for people-watching. There's a theatre festival on, so the square is full of musicians, acrobats and all sorts of performers dressed up and promoting their shows. It's much like a hotter Edinburgh Festival. We've just been to see Le Magicien Orangé.

What are you currently reading?

After twenty-odd years I'm re-reading Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell, and Grace Paley's short story collection Enormous Changes at the Last Minute.

Choose a favourite author and say why you admire her/him

I read the first volume of Maya Angelou's autobiography when I was about 17. Then when my boy was a baby I devoured five volumes one after the other and was full of admiration for her spirited approach to life, her resilience and sense of humour.

Describe the room where you usually write

I mostly write in the bedroom in the converted attic of a bungalow. My desk belonged to my grandparents and would have gone to my mum and I treasure it. I have bookshelves behind me and under the desk is the typewriter I used in my teens. When I stand up and look out of the window, I can see a field of sheep.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

I can imagine becoming one of Lesley Glaister's reclusive elderly twins in Honour Thy Father and Little Egypt.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

If I can have both, I'll say my mum and dad because they were good, strong people and fine role models.

Alison Moore's new novel, 'He Wants', is published by Salt