One Minute With: Laura Lippman, detective fiction writer


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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

In Tuscany – and the hillside around the house looks exactly like you believe Tuscany to look.

What are you currently reading?

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter who is one of my favourite writers.

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

Philip Roth. With a lot of writers, I can say 'I'm done now', like you would in a relationship. With Roth, I'm in it for the long haul.

Describe the room where you usually write

We live part-time in New Orleans, where I write in the kitchen or in coffee shops. In Baltimore, I have an office around the corner from our house.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

Francie Nolan from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, whose love of writing and reading saves her from grim poverty. My most valuable lessons have come from books.

Who is your hero/heroine outside literature?

My babysitter without whom I couldn't work, and a Baltimore couple, Brendan Walsh and Willa Bickham. He's a former priest, she's a former nun. They've run a soup kitchen for 40 years.

Laura Lippman's new novel, 'The Innocents', is published by HarperCollins