One Minute With: Victoria Hislop, novelist


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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

I am in the London Library – and beyond my computer screen there is a huge panel of opaque glass. It's perfect for concentration, because it's like looking into a void.

What are you currently reading?

'The Parthenon Marbles: The Case for Reunification' by Christopher Hitchens. Someone literally thrust a copy into my hands last week.

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

Ian McEwan: he writes almost perfect sentences and every book is completely different and original.

Describe the room where you usually write

Here in the London Library. There is no sound except the tap of fingers on keys – everyone else around me is writing a book, translating a book or making notes out of a book. Heaven might be a bit like this.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

I share a few characteristics with Cathy in 'Wuthering Heights' – a bit volatile and always changing my mind about things.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Dr Paul Brand, who pioneered life-changing surgery for people with leprosy.

Victoria Hislop's volume of short stories 'The Last Dance' is published by Review