Sarah Hall, novelist: One minute interview


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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

Sitting in a vibrant green nursing chair with a feverish, zonked baby on my lap. There's a menagerie of stuffed toys on the windowsill, the best of which is a hand-knitted wolf made by a friend in Australia. Beyond, a ramshackle garden, the rooftops and spires of Norwich.

What are you currently reading?

Atul Gawande's Being Mortal, which is surprisingly light and positive about a dark subject matter; and the first batch of short stories submitted by authors I've commissioned for an anthology on the themes of sex and death. Wildly exciting to receive!

Choose a favourite author and say why you admire them

James Salter has talents on the page we novelists would sell souls to the devil for. Also Kathleen Jamie, who says more with fewer lines – true, silvery, sometimes metaphysical – than any other writer I know.

Describe the room where you usually write

I'm a home-roamer, and can't do study or office scenarios. The kitchen table is one familiar, migratory port of call; the aforementioned green chair is another... I do need windows though. Light! Light!

Which fictional character most resembles you?

On a good day, I'm Capable from George Saunders' The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

At the risk of being myopic and soppy, it's my beau, James. He's a doctor, a bone-deep optimist, and the world's best dad. Further afield, all the women campaigning for equal rights under very difficult and dangerous circumstances.

Sarah Hall's new novel, 'The Wolf Border', is published by Faber & Faber (£17.99) and is out now