One Minute With: Susan Greenfield, scientist & broadcaster
Boyd Tonkin is Literary Editor at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman and has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes. He has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature.
Friday 02 March 2012
Where are you now and what can you see?
I'm travelling from Oxford to Exeter for an event at the university about creativity. We're in Devon and I can see classic English countryside – rolling hills with patches of woodland.
What are you currently reading?
I recently finished Sebastian Faulks's 'A Week in December'. I'm not usually keen on novels set in modern times but I did like this – he's a very good writer.
Choose a favourite author, and say why you admire her/him
Philippa Gregory: I enjoy all her historical novels, not just those about Tudor times. It's paradoxical, but as a scientist I don't really like reading science books. Her novels have just the right level of escapism while remaining interesting.
Describe the room where you usually write
My study at home. Each of the rooms in the house has a different colour, and the study is red: carpets, walls and ceiling.
What distracts you from writing?
Being hungry. Otherwise, very little. I have a day job, so it's such a luxury to take a day off and work at home.
Which fictional character most resembles you?
In an idealised way, Prince Tancredi in Lampedusa's novel 'The Leopard' - with his line that "If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change." Not that I'm in any way male, Italian or aristocratic!
What are your readers like when you meet them?
I suppose that they do belong to predictable categories: the intelligentsia, for want of a better word. People who are interested in ideas.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
Vivienne Westwood. She's sui generis. Not only do I like her clothes, but I admire her as a woman: feisty, stylish, creative and fun.
Susan Greenfield will speak at the 'Independent' Bath Literature Festival on Tuesday 6 March; her book 'You and me: the neuroscience of identity' is published by Notting Hill Editions
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 Is Ebola coming to Britain? UK health officials issue warning to doctors as outbreak fears grow
- 4 Richard Dawkins says 'date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse' on Twitter
- 5 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
'Phallic symbols' found hidden in famous Pre-Raphaelite painting 'Isabella' by John Everett Millais
Top Gear Burma episode breached Ofcom rules over Jeremy Clarkson's racial slur
Freddie Prinze Jr on 24: 'Kiefer Sutherland was the most unprofessional dude in the world – I hated every moment of it'
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies trailer unveiled at Comic-Con
How did our legends really begin?
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
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