One Minute With: Joe Dunthorne, novelist

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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

I'm in my house [in East London] looking out to the back garden. I can see overgrown vines and a tree.

What are you currently reading?

I've just finished reading David Foster Wallace's 'The Pale King'. It was abundantly clear to me that it was unfinished. I felt he was not the kind of writer who would've wanted anything to be read while it was imperfect. JM Coetzee's 'Disgrace', which I'm now reading, is very direct and satisfying.

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

It changes every few weeks, but I'm going to go with Don DeLillo. He's written my favourite book – 'White Noise'. He has a perfect balance between fantastically funny and winningly flawed characters, and he has profound things to say about American culture, death, technology.

Describe the room where you usually write

It's an office made up of disused tube carriages lifted on top of a warehouse. The view is fantastic – 360 degrees, but I'm thankful my desk faces a brick wall or I'd get distracted.

What are your readers like when you meet them?

When I wrote 'Submarine', I thought it would be a book for people of my age (20s), but there were people a lot older and a lot younger.

What distracts you from writing?

The internet. The problem is that you can always call it research; I will look up something relevant and get lost in the world of endless hyperlinks.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

There are some characters which feel open to being projected upon, in the work of Camus and Kafka, for example. I don't exactly see myself in them but I like characters with a lot of blanks, filled in by yourself.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

David Lynch. If I can't deconstruct the reasons why I enjoy something, I'm that much more taken by it. The Lynchian aesthetic is really unique. He is uncopiable.

Joe Dunthorne's latest novel, 'Wild Abandon', is published by Hamish Hamilton