One minute interview: AL Kennedy
Arifa Akbar is literary editor of The Independent and i newspapers. She has worked at The Independent since 2001 as a news reporter and arts correspondent before joining the books desk in 2009. She was a judge for the Orwell Prize for books 2013, and the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014, and is currently judging the Aesthetica Magazine new writing prize.
Saturday 18 January 2014
Where are you now and what can you see?
I am in a study. If I look out of the window I can see London because I’m on a hill.
What are you currently reading?
I have got two novels to read that friends have written. They’re not published yet so I can’t talk about them.
Choose a favourite author and say why you admire her/him
There are the ones I come back to quite regularly such as Robert Louis Stevenson. His essays, letters, fiction, is all incredibly good. An all-round good guy and admirable human being.
Describe the room where you usually write
It is built in the pitch of the roof. It’s not an attic but the roof is at an angle which goes up to 13ft at one end where the bookshelves are. It’s also incredibly cold.
Which fictional character most resembles you?
I have a soft spot for Captain Ahab [from Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick]. I’m difficult, obsessive.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
Daniel Ellsberg. He was Vietnam’s [Edward] Snowden. He used to work for the Rand corporation, and was an Establishment figure who made a very big journey to leak vast amounts of information. He wasn’t a journalist. He was just a guy who mistakenly thought that if you supply accurate information to politicians, they will use it responsibly. The interesting thing is nothing has changed.
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