One Minute With: Deborah Moggach, novelist


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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

I'm in my study and watching two rats playing in the compost heap, then climbing up the bird feeder and hanging there upside down. Another hour's work gone.

What are you currently reading?

Chris Cleave's 'The Other Hand'. Utterly brilliant, and I long to adapt it as a film, but I suspect someone else has got there first.

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

Beryl Bainbridge because she understood the absurdity of life and how humour lurks in even the most tragic situation.

Describe the room where you usually write

My study, which overlooks the gambolling rats but also Keats's House, which happens to be where my grandmother was born in 1890. Behind it looms the Royal Free Hospital, where my parents died.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

Like a squillion other people, it's Elizabeth Bennet. She cut through the vapidity with her wit.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

My new hero is George Bellows, not only a great painter but a passionate socialist and larkey to boot. He even played the drums in a band.

Deborah Moggach's new novel is 'Heartbreak Hotel' (Chatto & Windus)