One Minute With: Alison Pick, novelist and poet

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

At my family's summer house in Quebec, upstairs in the study, with a gorgeous view of rolling hills and the lake below. Seriously.

What are you currently reading?

'Tales of Love and Darkness' by Amos Oz (at least I will be once I crack the spine this evening...).

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

This changes on a dime, but today I'll say Virginia Woolf for her range, her nuance, her nostalgia, her sensuality.

Describe the room where you usually write

It's a tiny little bedroom in my home in Toronto. When we bought it, we were told it was a bedroom but we couldn't fit a bed into it. It's small, bright, cluttered, coffee-scented, homey. When I'm writing a first draft, I write into a notebook at my desk. I have a bulletin board up in the room, and when I received email from readers of my book, 'Far to Go', I printed them out and put them on the board, just to remind me that people were enjoying it.

What distracts you from writing?

Facebook. What else? What I try and do when I'm working on a book is to work for three hours before I check it, but I'm usually not very successful. If I cave in, my whole morning is gone.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

That's a hard one. Kitty from Tolstoy's 'Anna Karenina'? At least before she marries Levin...

What are your readers like when you meet them?

'Far to Go', is set in pre-World War Two Jewish Czechoslovakia, and my family's Holocaust history has been publicised alongside the novel. Readers often want to tell me their own similarly-themed family stories, which I love to hear.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

As someone who spends days alone at a desk, I admire activists, out in the world, doing good in a tangible way. Most recently I was amazed by Eve Ensler's work with women and girls in the Congo and Haiti.

Alison's Pick's Man Booker longlisted novel, 'Far to Go', is published by Headline Review

Comments