One Minute With: Susie Boyt, novelist


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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

I am in a café in Chalk Farm where I sometimes work which shares its premises with a legal practice... I can see men going in and out of William Hill's looking forlorn... Derek Jacobi's housekeeper is in the café buying croissants.

What are you currently reading?

The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton, and Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart.

Choose a favourite author and say why you admire him/her

Jean Stafford. She writes about nervous emergencies, collapses and convalescence, with great liveliness and irony. Her prose has a brimming quality but it is also quite strict and tart.

Where do you usually write?

In a small room full of junk with a green carpet and orange stripy curtains, looking out over London.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

A mixture of Anne Elliot from Persuasion and George Harvey Bone from Hangover Square and maybe 5 per cent Miss Piggy.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature

Sigmund Freud, my Mum, Henry James, Judy Garland, Jesus – not that any of these are really outside literature.

Susie Boyt's 'The Small Hours' is published in paperback by Virago