One minute with: Wendy Law-Yone, novelist/autobiographer


Where are you now and what can you see?

At a book festival on the grounds of a magnificent English country estate. People actually queuing in the sunshine to listen to me speak. Not possible.

What are you currently reading?

The collected Paris Review interviews, to remind me of other curiosities of the writing life. Also, some pulp fiction in Burmese, the long-neglected language of my childhood.

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

The pseudonymous Italian novelist Elena Ferrante – for her vivisection of the female psyche, and especially for her dedication to anonymity.

Describe the room where you usually write

A storage space, really, with cardboard boxes for a filing system; a bed for spreading out papers on, not for sleeping; a desk by a window, facing a blank wall.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

Mrs Rochester [Jane Eyre].

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

My late brother-in-law Geoffrey, whose courage and charm neither Down’s syndrome nor dementia could obscure.

Wendy Law-Yone’s ‘Golden Parasol: a daughter’s memoir