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.
Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Morgan Freeman on the riot-focused coverage of the Baltimore protests: 'F**k the media'
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 Length of pregnancy can vary by up to five weeks, scientists discover
Penny Dreadful, series 2 episode 1, review: It is still gloriously silly
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
Eurovision 2015: What date and time is the song contest and who are the favourites to win?
Game of Thrones, season 5 episode 4, review: Sansa in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show