"Our technology has outpaced us to the degree that human understanding is no longer at the centre of it." Olivia Sudjic
Author Archive
Nina Stibbe: Out of the box

Nina Stibbe: Out of the box

Nina Stibbe’s first book Love, Nina, a collection of letters written when she was a nanny in the 198os, was the surprise publishing hit of 2013. Andrew O’Hagan called her “The funniest new writer to arrive in years.” In Love, Nina she mentions writing a (semi-autobiographical) novel as part of her polytechnic course. After the...
Straight-talking Sadie Jones

Straight-talking Sadie Jones

There is no doubt that Sadie Jones is a generous-spirited woman. I get lost on my way to her house in Chiswick but when I arrive, flustered, instead of being cross that I’ve kept her waiting, she sweetly asks what kind of coffee I’d like, pointing at a complicated-looking machine. Coffee made, we settle down...
Kerry Hudson: Love and need

Kerry Hudson: Love and need

Kerry Hudson’s award-winning debut novel Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma drew partly on her experiences of growing up on estates and in B&Bs. Her second, Thirst, is about Alena, a woman sex-trafficked from Siberia, and Dave, a security guard who catches her shoplifting. When I meet Hudson for...
Rebecca Hunt: Poles apart

Rebecca Hunt: Poles apart

Rebecca Hunt is one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met, never mind interviewed. Her incredibly poised debut novel Mr Chartwell was published when she was 31 (she’s now 34), and sold in ten countries. Also longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, she could frankly be excused for taking herself very seriously indeed. But...
Sheila Heti talks unpretty

Sheila Heti talks unpretty

Sheila Heti’s most recent novel How Should a Person Be? is a book that’s not afraid of appearing ugly, either aesthetically or morally. There is even a chapter called ‘Sheila Throws Her Shit’. Its writer, however, has a generous spirit, a sincere belief in the importance of art and that same mixture of confidence and...
Anna Whitwham: Boxing clever

Anna Whitwham: Boxing clever

I’m late to meet Anna Whitwham, and as I rush into the appointed café, I spy a familiar-looking blonde woman tapping away at a laptop. We stare at each other. This must be Anna, I think. It’s actually Rachel Johnson who once wrote a book called Notting Hell, and Anna Whitwham is sat quietly behind...
Elizabeth Jane Howard backwards

Elizabeth Jane Howard backwards

I had worried that meeting Elizabeth Jane Howard might be a slightly melancholy experience. Whilst her novels have sold in their millions and she counts Hilary Mantel among her fans, she has never quite received the acclaim she deserves. In spite of this and the fact that at 90 she is now quite frail, there...
Eleanor Catton: Eyes wide open

Eleanor Catton: Eyes wide open

I meet Eleanor Catton in the Langham Hotel straight after her Woman’s Hour debut and the day before the Booker shortlist announcement. I have a feeling that her second and most recent novel, The Luminaries, will be on the shortlist and I also have a feeling that she already knows whether it is or not....
Charlotte Mendelson: Invisible alien

Charlotte Mendelson: Invisible alien

When I arrive at the offices of Charlotte Mendelson’s publisher Pan Macmillan she is already there and is quite hard to miss, not least because she is wearing flat pointed shoes that are the exact shade of a yellow highlighter pen. People are clearly fond of her here and she’s so keen to chat to...