One Minute With: Mark Haddon, novelist


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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

In a rather inappropriately chic hotel in West London in which I don't feel wholly at home.

What are you currently reading?

Virginia Woolf by Alexandra Harris, Dombey And Son by Dickens and The Dark Film by Paul Farley.

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

Virginia Woolf. I get something different from books such as To The Lighthouse, Jacob's Room and Between The Acts every time I read them. I like ensemble books and she is an ensemble writer.

Describe the room where you usually write

It's in my home [in Oxford]. It's full of stuff and brightly coloured. I paint in there as well so I'm surrounded by paints, books, half-finished pictures and portraits of writers that I'm currently painting.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

There's a bit of you in every character you write. If there isn't, then something has gone a little wrong.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Having a hero is a dangerous business. All the best people have the most terrible failings. You're waiting to find out their dark secret. Being regarded as a hero by society is an unhealthy situation to be in.

Mark Haddon's novel, 'The Red House', is published by Jonathan Cape