One Minute With: Diana Evans

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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

In my study at the top of the stairs at home in south London. From the window to my left, I can see the foliage of several back gardens, the sky above, and a cat walking with perfect balance along a fence.

What are you reading at the moment?

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sunand Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace (which has been going on for some time now).

What distracts you from your writing?

Journalism, the paraphenalia of being published, doubt, my child (blissfully), and the need for peppermint tea.

Name a favourite author and why do you like him/her?

I have a few, rather than just one. Tolstoy is among them, because he is unworried, unhurried yet swift in his storytelling. Also, Arundhati Roy, Jean Rhys and Edward P Jones.

Describe the room where you usually write

It is small and square, with a bright green writing chair and a gold-papered wall that shines behind me in the sunlight as I am writing. It awaits a chaise longue.

Which fictional character do you think you most resemble?

Bessi Hunter from my novel 26a.

What are your readers like when you meet them?

Some of them are so talkative that I can't get a word in edgeways, which is great. Others are extremely shy and nervous.

Who is your hero/heroine outside literature?

My sisters. And Barack Obama.

Diana Evans's novel 'The Wonder' is published by Chatto & Windus