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.
Listen to his collaboration with Naughty Boymusic
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 3 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 4 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
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James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans