Helen Dunmore: One Minute Interview


Where are you now and what can you see? I am at home on a winter morning. It is still dark and the ferry has its lights on as it comes across the water.

What are you currently reading? I’m rereading a novel by Rebecca Hunt, Mr Chartwell, which is about Winston Churchill and the “black dog” of his depression. I’m also reading the proof of her second novel, about Antarctic exploration. They are both fascinating books about individuals under extreme pressures.

Choose a favourite author and say why you admire her/him? Kazuo Ishiguro for all his work, but especially the brilliant and mournful Never Let Me Go. Ishiguro’s control of tone and

his ability to disappear into the landscape of his fiction and let it speak for itself are remarkable.

Describe the room where you usually write? It is high up, with a far-reaching view, rather like a nest on the edge of a cliff. I can watch the weather coming in from the south-west.

Which fictional character most resembles you? When the children were young I used to feel like Mrs Tabitha Twitchit at times.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature? RNLI volunteer crews who go out to save lives in all weathers. It’s not only that they give their time and expertise, but also that they deal calmly with conditions that would make most of us quail. It’s practical, down-to-earth altruism, and impressive.

Helen Dunmore’s new novel, ‘The Lie’, is published by Hutchinson