One Minute With: Aifric Campbell

Interview,Boyd Tonkin
Friday 05 March 2010 01:00 GMT

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Where are you now and what can you see?

I'm standing in the rain outside the bus station behind a friend's apartment in Donnybrook, Dublin. I can see its undulating roof.

What are you currently reading?

I'm reading a novel about the financial markets so I'm looking again at a favourite, Joseph de la Vega's Confusion de Confusiones, with Charles Mackay's Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

Describe the room where you usually write

Wherever is the warmest: the one thing I can't do is write where it's cold.

What distracts you from writing?

My son, football matches, the dog...

Name a favourite author and say why you like her/him

John Updike, especially the Rabbit novels. It's his celebration of the everyday – the grace and humour with which he tells the story of an ordinary man.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

When I'm talking back at a TV programme, Ignatius Reilly in John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces, shouting "They should all be lashed!" Or else Richard Fords Frank Bascombe (from The Sportswriter), trying to figure out the world while walking the dog.

What are your readers like when you meet them?

There's no general type. In Amsterdam recently, a psychiatrist said that my portrayal of an anorexic patient had moved him to tears.

Who is your Hero or heroine from outside literature?

I've got a soft spot for Captain Scott [of the Antarctic]. Maybe it's an Irish thing – I've always been fascinated by heroic death.

Aifric Campbell's novel 'The Loss Adjustor' is published by Serpent's Tail.

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