David Guterson, novelist: 'I admire Graham Greene's unpretentious approach to storytelling'
Thursday 31 July 2014
Where are you now and what can you see?
I'm at home. I can see a field of tall grass behind a split-rail cedar fence through the window to my right. It's seven in the morning and I'm listening to the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album.
What are you currently reading?
The Fundamentalist Mindset, by Charles Strozier, David M. Terman and James W. Jones. A selection of the Upanishads, which are mostly impenetrable. And Roget's Illusion, a collection of poems by Linda Bierds.
Choose a favourite author and say why you admire her/him
Graham Greene. I admire his straightforward and unpretentious approach to storytelling. And Javier Marías, for his charming surprises and extraordinary convolutions.
Describe the room where you usually write
It's a long, second- floor rectangle with a shiplap ceiling, schoolhouse fixtures, and tall windows. I keep a lot of knick-knacks around– jars of sea glass, odd bits of rock.
Which fictional character most resembles you?
Neil Countryman, the first person narrator of my novel The Other. We are the same age, reside in the same part of the world, attended the same university, have both worked as public high-school English teachers, and ponder life in similar fashion.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
I have a lot of respect for [spiritual teachers] Thich Nhat Hanh, Eknath Easwaran, and [humanitarian physician/anthropologist] Dr Paul Farmer. They all figured out how to be effectively humane. They embody wisdom.
David Guterson's latest book of short stories, 'Problems with People', is published by Bloomsbury on 14 August
Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Edward Heath 'raped 12 year-old boy at Mayfair flat'
- 2 Porn block in India: hundreds of sexual websites banned, internet outraged
- 3 Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale divorce: One of music industry’s most enduring couples announce split after 12 years of marriage
- 4 Giant Minion terrorises drivers in Ireland as 40ft inflatable blocks traffic on Dublin road
- 5 Will Smith 'divorce': Actor forced to respond to tabloid rumours after 'condolence' messages
Artist Jamie McCartney: How The Great Wall of Vagina is a stand against 'body fascism'
Game of Thrones season 6: 'A Song of Ice and Fire should be finished by 1998,' said George R. R. Martin, 'but don't hold your breath'
Sherlock season 4: Benedict Cumberbatch will be 'a lot less brattish' in Victorian special
Find out what song was number one on the day you were born
The top 20 books every student should read before leaving secondary school
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Labour leadership race: Jeremy Corbyn could be the next Prime Minister, says Ken Clarke