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.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 Doctors remove 80 teeth from boy's jaw
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 5 Naomi Wolf reacts to Isis 'conspiracy theories' critism after she questions whether beheading videos are real
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
Last Tango in Halifax, BBC1, review: Cosy familiarity and real surprises are perfectly in step
Game of Thrones named most-pirated TV show of 2014
Exodus: Gods and Kings banned in the UAE over 'religious mistakes'
Marilyn Manson breaks silence on Lana Del Rey rape clip: 'I wouldn't make a video of that nature'
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Douglas Carswell tells Ukip to stop blaming foreigners as youth poll shows Nigel Farage is even less popular than Nick Clegg