One Minute With: Laurie Graham, novelist


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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

In my kitchen in Dublin, looking out at my garden. I can see a couple of pigeons getting it on.

What are you currently reading?

I always have two books on the go – James Hogg's 'Lord Emsworth's Annotated Whiffle' and 'Phantoms in the Brain' by the neuroscientist, V S Ramachandran.

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

My go-to author for knowing it all is Evelyn Waugh. 'A Handful of Dust' is as perfect as a book can get.

Describe the room where you usually write

It's on the third floor of the house and it has a view of a very boring street where nothing ever happens. I have a lot of projects on the go and each one has its own heap. I can always find what I need.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

Mrs Crummles from 'Nicholas Nickleby', the matriarch of a travelling theatre. She comes across as a bit forbidding as I can do, my children would say, but she is really warm-hearted.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Fanny Burney, for her work but also the way she lived her life. She married a penniless French exile. She didn't give a damn. She just did it.

Laurie Graham's novel, 'A Humble Companion', is published by Quercus