One Minute With: Pauline Melville
Friday 04 September 2009
Where are you now and what can you see?
I'm in my front room looking out of the window and can see a raggedly unkempt privet hedge that protects me from the street, near the Arsenal football stadium.
Choose a favourite author and say why you like her/him
I'll plump for Dostoyevsky: he's so magnificently untidy, furious and passionate, and he has such an understanding of the human condition.
Describe the room where you usually write
It has a bed disguised as a sofa, two computers, a map of Guyana, a landscape of Cuba and a painting of a scene from Zola's L'Assommoir.
What are you currently reading?
I've just finished Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. It's beautifully written – writing as close to being silk or water as you can get. And I've been reading the wonderful poetry of Wislawa Szymborska.
Which fictional character most resembles you?
Heathcliff, unfortunately, with a dash of [the William books'] Violet Elizabeth Bott. Or that fictional character God – unreliable, amoral and prone to mistakes of a grand order.
What distracts you from writing?
What are your readers like when you meet them?
I meet a lot in universities... They're wonderful because they always reveal something about the work that I didn't know was there. Writers don't always know what they're writing.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
I'm not prone to hero-worship. I'm more like Diogenes, going round with a lantern trying to find an honest man. But it could be Cuffee, who led a slave rebellion in Guyana.
Pauline Melville's 'Eating Air' is out from Telegram.
TV reviewBroadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair
Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere
TVThe Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
Poldark, series 1 finale, review: How a costume drama became a Sunday night swoon-fest
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 3, review: Sansa and manhood-lopping torturer Ramsay Bolton - really?
The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove