One Minute With: Marina Lewycka

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Where are you now and what can you see?

I'm in my study in Sheffield and, out of the window, I can see my garden which has pink roses and mauve sage - and it looks stunning except the grass needs cutting. I'm looking out in my nightie.

What are you currently reading?

Cockroach by Rawi Hage, which I've been reading for Newsnight Review.

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

It's probably George Eliot because reading her I realise how contemporary and funny she is, and that she has no reservations about being opinionated.

Describe the room where you usually write

Usually I write in my bedroom. My study is full of papers and I use it to do business things. I write in my bed and I can see the lovely view of the garden from there.

What distracts you from writing?

Emails.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

I would say Maggie, from The Mill on the Floss, which I have just been re-reading. She is feisty and untidy and can't do anything with her hair and she loves reading.

What are your readers like when you meet them?

I'm always incredibly touched by how nice they all are. I feel almost unworthy of them.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Professor Wangari Maathai, known as the "tree woman of Kenya", who campaigned for environmental protection and human rights, planting millions of trees across Africa and starting programmes of education for girls and women. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.

Marina Lewycka's novel, 'We Are All Made of Glue', is published by Fig Tree.

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