One Minute With: Andrew Rosenheim, novelist

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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

I'm in my wife's study, which also serves as a spare room [outside Oxford]. I can see our border collie, who has been chasing foxes and smells accordingly.

What are you currently reading?

For my next book, I'm reading 'Only What We Could Carry' – first-person accounts of Japanese Americans interned in the US during the Second World War. For light relief, I'm re-reading Robert Crichton's 'The Secret of Santa Vittoria'.

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

Thomas McGuane, an American writer little-known in the UK but one of the finest prose stylists alive. He writes beautifully about the natural world - his best writing has been about horses and fly-fishing, as in 'The Longest Silence'.

Describe the room where you usually write

I should say the hut my wife had built for me in the garden when I left publishing ten years ago. In reality, it's at the kitchen table.

What distracts you from writing?

I live in a fairly isolated place, but you can always find distractions. Either the postman's arriving later these days or I'm starting to wait for him earlier.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

Wilbur, in 'Charlotte's Web' [by EB White]

What are your readers like when you meet them?

Usually surprised that, in spite of having spent 30 years in the UK, my voice is still pure Chicago. They surprise me by their unpredictable variety. I don't have a typical reader.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

The critic WK Wimsatt – I was his assistant at Yale University. He lost one of his two sons and suffered from depression. But he showed a kind of stoic fortitude, which I found admirable, in the face of immense suffering.

Andrew Rosenheim's latest novel is 'Fear Itself' (Hutchinson)