One Minute With: Marlon James
Friday 11 September 2009
Where are you now and what can you see?
In a sardine-tight flight to Miami. I can see clouds, rivers, the headtops of cities and my naked fear in the laptop reflection (turbulence).
What are you currently reading?
David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas. It's my Indian summer of Big Books. William Gaddis' JR is next.
Choose a favourite author, and say why you like her/him
Michael Ondaatje. The day after I finished The English Patient I woke up in a sweat convinced that I had dreamed the whole thing. Then I read In the Skin of a Lion and it happened again.
Describe the room where you usually write
In the centre is a desk that I can disassemble in 20 seconds. Frank Sinatra stands guard from a Manchurian Candidate poster on the wall. On the floor are stacks of books I just bought, including Victor Lavalle's Big Machine.
What distracts you from writing?
I don't know where I stand as a writer, but I'm the finest procrastinator of my generation.
Which fictional character most resembles you?
Dostoyevsky's The Idiot. I am amazed at how little I know about the world and how much less I know about people.
What are your readers like when you meet them?
Stunned that I have a sense of humour. Granted, I tend to put my characters through horrific degrees of unpleasantness, so I can see why they expect an angry not-so-young man.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
David Bowie. I don't know if I would have made it through my twenties alive were it not for "Rock and Roll Suicide".
'The Book of Night Women' by Marlon James is published by Oneworld.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
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The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant