One Minute With: Andrea Levy, novelist
Friday 28 January 2011
Where are you now and what can you see?
I'm in a temporary flat in north London while my house is being decorated, looking out over a beautiful garden that isn't mine!
What are you currently reading?
I'm about to start Jonathan Franzen's 'Freedom', and I've been reading 'After Empire' by Paul Gilroy – a look at Britain after its empire, and at what a multi-cultural society could and should be.
Choose a favourite author and say why you admire her/him
Kazuo Ishiguro. He's one of the best writers around at the moment. His prose is spare and his ideas can seem slight - but are absolutely not. He doesn't have the bangs and whistles of some writers but is just quietly magnificent.
Describe the room where you usually write
At the moment, it's got a cement mixer in it! It has an L-shaped desk with a view, a sofa and a coffee table. I have a row of dictionaries and thesauruses, from Caribbean English and slang to the Shorter Oxford.
What distracts you from writing?
Almost anything! Email has recently inserted itself and is a bit annoying. And I like to have a nap in the middle of the day.
Which fictional character most resembles you?
Sometimes Tigger, but mostly Eyeore.
What are your readers like when you meet them?
Really heart-warming. I did a reading on Monday and was just overwhelmed by the response - when people come up and thank me for writing the books. There's always an element of surprise, too – and long may it last. That's what fiction is all about.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
My Mum. I grew up with her but later, as I've heard her story and learned what she went through, I have nothing but admiration for her. She's 90 now and going strong – a wonderful person.
Andrea Levy's Man Booker-shortlisted novel 'The Long Song' is published in paperback by Headline Review
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who left house after argument with her parents
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 4 Gay teenager 'forced to have sex with his own mother' to 'cure' his homosexuality, campaigners in India say
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
Syd Barrett's inner visions
Britain's Got Talent 2015: Simon Cowell 'feels like an idiot' after Jules and Matisse scandal
Game of Thrones season 6: George RR Martin doing 'anything he can' to get new book The Winds of Winter out before next HBO series airs
Game of Thrones, Battle of Hardhome: 20-minute Wildlings versus White Walkers battle took a 'solid month' to film
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 9, The Dance of Dragons: Jon Snow returns to The Wall after epic Battle of Hardhome
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers