Where are you now and what can you see?
The Rambling Rector rose, swamping a cherry tree in the garden. Horticultural heaven (though not of my making or design).
What are you currently reading?
Your Face Tomorrow, Javier Marías. I like its poise, which can also dip into maddening certainty about the human heart.
Choose a favourite author, and say why you admire her/him
Turgenev, for his quiet, his compassion, his exquisite sense of humour. And how to stay in one piece through turbulent political times.
Describe the room where you usually write
A ground floor annexe, which bears comparison with the stock room of a badly run charity shop. I am appallingly untidy and reckless by nature.
Which fictional character most resembles you?
To others, Norman, in Aykbourn's The Norman Conquests, alas. But also, Updike's Rabbit Angstrom , which is how I see myself. From time to time.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
Matt Damon – who else ?
Brian Thompson's new memoir, 'A Corner of Paradise', is published by Chatto & Windus. Get money off this title at the Independent bookshopReuse content