Nicci French, crime thriller duo: 'Rudyard Kipling is still underrated'


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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

Sean French: At home in Suffolk. I can see daffodils and a dark, lowering sky.

Nicci Gerrard: Also in Suffolk, and I can see a squirrel eating the seeds we put out for the birds.

What are you currently reading?

Sean: The Hypnotist, a powerful, grisly thriller by 'Lars Kepler' (pseudonym for a Swedish married couple – what a strange idea).

Nicci: Restoration by Rose Tremain (terrific) and I'm just beginning A Death in the Family by Karl Ove Knausgaard.

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

Sean: Rudyard Kipling is still underrated. Kim is one of the most enjoyable of great novels.

Nicci: Virginia Woolf, who fought through her depression and terrible anxiety to produce works of profound beauty.

Describe the room where you usually write

Sean: In a spartan hut in the garden.

Nicci: In an attic room as far from Sean as possible, but near enough to meet for coffee every half-hour.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

Sean: I rather identify with Samuel Beckett's Molloy. He writes things on pieces of paper and then someone comes and takes them away and he doesn't quite know what happens to them.

Nicci: I'm rather afraid I'm like Little My in the great Tove Jansson's Moomintroll books: small, hot and impatient.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Sean: David Hume: More than anyone else he can teach us how to live and die without illusions and false comforts.

Nicci: Käthe Kollwitz, the German sculptor, painter, printmaker, feminist and socialist. A heroic woman.

Nicci French's latest book, 'Thursday's Children', is published by Penguin/Michael Joseph