Lynne Truss: 'Chekhov is my favourite writer by a mile'


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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

I am in the study of my house in Sussex, and the view through the window is of shrubbery, a tree, a glimpse of the South Downs, a bit of flint-and-brick wall, and a brightening sky (it's been raining).

What are you currently reading?

Hermione Lee's biography of Virginia Woolf. It's taken me years to get round to it, and now I'm kicking myself for leaving it so long.

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

Chekhov, by a mile – although I don't pretend to understand him, really. What intrigues me about Chekhov is that he finds the human condition so amusing. There's a mixture of callousness and wisdom that you don't find in many other writers.

Describe the room where you usually write

Having recently moved house, I now have a nicely fitted office (a bit twee) instead of a sort-of studio space beside the back door. My new office is on the ground floor at the front of the house; it has shelves that are half-empty because upstairs all my books are waiting to be unpacked. Interestingly, the movers wrote BOOK'S (with an apostrophe) on every box.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

Sadly, it's Sonia in Uncle Vanya.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) in the CBS series The Mentalist. I got hooked on the show recently and have spent the past month catching up on the back story.

Lynne Truss's new novel, 'Cat Out of Hell', is published by Hammer