Geoff Dyer, novelist: 'I admire Freedom Rider Jim Zwerg wholeheartedly'


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Where are you now and what can you see?

On a plane from Los Angeles to Seattle, so there's nothing to see except the seat and the person in the front. (How disappointing that one can say that from 30,000ft above the earth.)

What are you currently reading?

I've just started A Man in Love, the second volume of Karl Ove Knausgaard's My Struggle sextet. The first volume, A Death in the Family, was as amazing as friends had been telling me it was for the last 18 months. Also Stringer, Anjan Sundaram's account of his experiences as a reporter in the Congo.

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

Annie Dillard for her attentiveness, her ideas, her responsiveness, her craziness and humour.

Describe the room where you usually write

I wish there were a "usually". We've just moved to a new place in Venice, California. In our old place – also in Venice – I wrote at a table in the living room. It doesn't really matter where I am as long as there's a table and chair.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

One of Thomas Bernhard's chronically indecisive narrators from novels like Concrete or Correction.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Jim Zwerg. I'm not claiming any kind of heroic self-identification with this white Freedom Rider who was badly beaten in Montgomery Alabama but he is someone to admire wholeheartedly.

Geoff Dyer's book "Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the George H. W. Bush" is published by Visual Editions (£25)