One Minute With: Alison Pick, novelist and poet
Friday 19 August 2011
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
Arts & Ents blogs
Owen Howells is a DJ/producer who grew up in Australia but was born in the UK. He came back to the U...
Fancy seeing a play about serial killers? How about inviting a funeral director into your home for a...
There are a good many moments in the second episode of this psychological thriller that deserve refl...
- 1 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Woolwich murder: They killed, then they performed - these men should be starved of our attention
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.