One Minute With: Lisa Appignanesi, cultural historian
Friday 03 February 2012
Where are you now and what can you see?
I'm in my study. Through the window, I can see a surprise burst of pink azalea in the wintry garden and tall sycamores, their bare branches punctuated by nests.
What are you currently reading?
I'm judging the Orange Prize, so it's mostly fiction. Over the last days, there have been terrific novels: Ann Patchett's 'State of Wonder', Gillian Slovo's 'An Honourable Man', Chibundu Onuzo's 'The Spider King's Daughter'.
Choose a favourite author, and say why you admire her/him
It will have to be Philip Roth. He manages to mingle ideas, character, questions about what it is to be human – all with huge narrative zest and often humour.
Describe the room where you usually write
It's the room I'm in and the view is important. It was once my son's, then my daughter's, then became my own. The desk stretches along two walls and I sit in the curve of the V looking at my screen or the gardens behind.
What distracts you from writing?
Any- and everything. I do a fair amount of broadcasting. I'm Chair of the Freud Museum. With my Visiting Professor and Wellcome hat at King's College, London, I'm setting up a series of films, discussions, and podcasts on Brain and Mind. Then there are the publication events for 'All About Love'...
Which fictional character most resembles you?
If I have to choose one who isn't Henry James's Isabel Archer, or George Eliot's Dorothea, or Balzac's young man from the provinces, then it would have to be Christopher Robin or, maybe, Pollyanna.
What are your readers like when you meet them?
They're wonderful, and all very different from one another.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
All the young people who took part in the Arab Spring! And the great and greatly patient Aung San Suu Kyi.
Lisa Appignanesi's 'All About Love' is published in paperback by Virago
'At times I thought he was me'film
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Film More romcom than S&M
Review: The Imitation Gamefilm
Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars
TVNetflix gets cryptic
TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth
Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Universities aren't working us hard enough, say undergraduates
- 2 Lego letter from the 1970s still offers a powerful message to parents 40 years later
- 3 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Strictly Come Dancing results: Steve Backshall and Ola Jordan sent home
Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
Beyonce '7/11' music video: Star bounces on bed and films daughter Blue Ivy in lo-fi homage to viral video
Why are the words 'mongol', 'mongoloid' and 'mongy' still bandied about as insults?
Tom DeLonge compares streaming music to killing elephants
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict