One minute with: David Vann, novelist


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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

I'm staying in Château Chesnier... in the Loire Valley, sitting on the back steps looking at the garden on a beautiful sunny day.

What are you currently reading?

Paul Harding's 'Enon'. I loved his first novel, 'Tinkers'. We're about the same age, and I think of all the writers our age, he writes the most beautiful sentences; Latinate and generous.

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

I admire Annie Proulx because each of her books is written in a different style to match the content. She's a master stylist, a rover of language as well as landscape and culture.

Describe the room where you usually write

I write every morning for an hour and a half. It doesn't matter in which hotel or boat or house or... part of the world.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

I'm a bit of everyone in my books, both the male and female characters.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

No one, really. It's hard to care about anyone outside literature. Think back 2000 years. Who do we know from then? Seneca, because he wrote... everyone else from then is fairy tale.

David Vann's new novel is 'Goat Mountain' (Heinemann)