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.
film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Rashida Jones speaks out against male-centric porn saying 'women should have sex and feel good about it'
Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
Game of Thrones really doesn't want Danny Dyer - EastEnders star rejected three times
Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
25 years of Disney: How Darth Vader, Iron Man, Elsa and Pixar's geniuses helped the company conquer the world (again)
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account