Andrea Levy: One minute interview


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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

At my kitchen table looking out on to my small north London garden. A big chestnut tree is shedding its leaves over everything. It looks nice but I’ll have to sweep them up!

What are you currently reading?

A new book by Mathew Parker called Goldeneye. It’s about Ian Fleming and his love affair with Jamaica where he built a house and wrote all the James Bond novels. The book is an amazing portrayal of British racial and colonial attitudes in the 1950s and 60s. It’s the Jamaica that my mum and dad grew up in and it is helping me to understand the society that formed them. I’m really enjoying it.

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

I don’t think I can single out someone like that. I’ve had many favourite books over the years that have been influential – The Women’s Room, The Remains of the Day, English Passengers, Going to Meet the Man – but I tend to think of books I admire, not authors.

Describe the room where you usually write

It’s the biggest and untidiest room in the house. Large L-shaped desk, sofa, and three tall sash windows looking out on to the street.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

At the moment I feel a little like Bertha in Jane Eyre.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

My husband, Bill. If you had lived with me for 30 years you’d understand.

Andrea Levy’s latest book, ‘Six Stories and an Essay’, is published by Tinder Press