One Minute With: Ken Follett


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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

In my office at my house in Soho, from where I can see Dean Street. I'm in the library, surrounded by books and pictures.

What are you currently reading?

'Shakespeare's Language' by Frank Kermode. I bought it in Stratford-upon-Avon, where every year I go with friends to see three plays over a weekend. It's wonderful – one of the best books on Shakespeare that I've ever read.

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

I'm very fond of Edith Wharton. She's a great storyteller... but she's also unapologetically intelligent. Her analysis of people's motivations always strikes me as brilliant.

Describe the room where you usually write

In the library of my house in Stevenage, I have a little collection of drawings of authors. The centrepiece is a Picasso drawing of Balzac that hangs over the mantelpiece.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

Dr Watson. He tells us about someone braver and cleverer than he is.

Who is your hero/ heroine from outside literature?

Willie Dixon: the most prolific and successful blues composer ever.

Ken Follett's new novel is 'Winter of the World' (Macmillan).