One Minute With: Brian Thompson, autobiographer


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The Independent Culture

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 bookshop