A book that means a lot to you?
The book I’m writing at the moment is the one that means most to me. It is what consumes me now, others simply cease to exist.
Your favourite genre?
I do not like the word ‘genre’ and the pigeonholing it entails. Any book that breaks away from term ‘genre’ is worth the paper it’s printed on. The objective of art is to colour outside the line. But, I’m a sucker for humour. A book without wit is wasted on me.
Your favourite character? And why?
Why, it’s Alice, of course! She’s unshockable.
How many books do you own?
I haven’t dared to count.
An underrated book?
Anita Loos’ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, the ur-chick-lit book that nobody seems to remember. It deserves to be resurrected now that this sort of writing is so revered. Everyone seems to be trying it out for size.
An overrated book?
Ann Enright’s The Gathering. Yes, yes, it got the Booker last year. It has been done endlessly before, and better.
The book you bought last?
Nadeem Aslam’s The Wasted Vigil.
Last book read?
Steve Toltz’s A Fraction of the Whole. It just bristles with energy even if it does stomp on welltrampled ground.
A book you wish you had written?
There are so many! But I’d pick an Alice book if I absolutely had to, and Through the Looking Glass, not the first one. It is without brakes. It is invention in free fall. Wonderful! Wonderful! What a breeze!