One Minute With: Lucy Caldwell, novelist


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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

I'm at my desk in front of my computer and I can see a page full of Kurdish phrases. I'm going to northern Iraq tomorrow with the British Council, for the Erbil literature festival.

What are you currently reading?

I'm just finishing Adam Thorpe's 'Ulverton'. I think it's fantastic – the way he uses voices, and in particular the letters of an illiterate mother to the son who's due to be hanged.

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

Rosamond Lehmann. She's such a brilliant stylist, and writes with such passion about "women on the verge". It's easy to forget how good the prose is, because it's packed with such emotion.

Describe the room where you usually write

More a shoebox than a study - but it's completely my own. It's in an ugly maisonette in Kentish Town.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

Could I go for a combination of all three of Chekhov's 'Three Sisters'?

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

My sister, who's a palliative care doctor. She works in hospices with people, and their families, at the very end of life.

Lucy Caldwell's new novel is 'All the Beggars Riding' (Faber & Faber)