One Minute With: Raphael Selbourne
Friday 22 January 2010
Where are you now and what can you see?
In Wolverhampton, at a friend's house. I can see a strip of back garden, large trees and a playing field with more houses beyond.
What are you currently reading?
The Post Office Girl by Stefan Zweig. It's a wonderfully moving story of an unfulfilled young woman.
Choose a favourite author and say why you like her/him
Isaac Bashevis Singer, because he's a master storyteller – almost unrivalled. I discovered him quite late in life: the best thing to have come out of doing a PGCE [teaching certificate].
Which fictional character most resembles you?
I've never identified with characters in that sense but I do enjoy reading about many-sided figures and their moral dilemmas. I've never murdered an elderly lady, but Raskolnikov [in Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment] is a powerful figure of guilt and fear.
Describe the room where you usually write
It's the size of a snooker table with two desks, a radio and computer.
What distracts you from writing?
The internet. It can be a gross waste of time.
What are your readers like when you meet them?
Apart from family and friends, and a couple of journalists, I haven't yet met any. I look forward to being heaped with praise – and also to meeting someone who has been made uncomfortable by the novel, for whatever reason.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran pastor, for his courage in resisting Nazism.
Raphael Selbourne's 'Beauty', published by Tindal Street Press, won the Costa First Novel Award.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 4 Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Ed Sheeran dedicates song to David Cameron
Thrill of the chaste: The truth about Gandhi's sex life
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon
Great British Bake Off semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
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