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One Minute With: Tie Ning, novelist


Where are you now and what can you see?

I live in Beijing. From my window I can see the scenery of life.

What are you currently reading?

I've been reading 'Tao Te Ching' by Lao Tzu, Jean-Henri Fabre's 'Book of Insects', Italo Calvino's short stories and Tocqueville's 'The Ancien Regime and the French Revolution'.

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

Among British authors, my favourite is Charles Dickens. I read 'David Copperfield' when I was nine, during the Cultural Revolution in China.

Describe the room where you usually write?

My writing room is quite large and I use a bookshelf to divide it into two. One half has a large table in the middle. The other half is my writing space.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

When 'Madame Bovary' was published, people asked Flaubert who she was and he answered, "I am Madame Bovary." This is the most truthful answer I've heard about the relationship between the author and their fictional characters.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

My husband is the hero in my mind.

Tie Ning's novel 'The Bathing Women' is published by Blue Door