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.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant