“Deep curiosity, deep listening, that’s what we have to give to each other. Reading is a form of deep listening, isn’t it? Staying with something, and being affected by it." Maggie Gee
Posts tagged "influences"
Mark Edwards: Proverbial needle, proverbial haystack

Mark Edwards: Proverbial needle, proverbial haystack

In No Place to Run’s opening sequence, Francesca Gilbert is seventy-five years old, mourning the recent loss of a husband, and six hundred miles into her train journey home. Dawn is breaking across a clearing in a Northern California forest when Francesca sees a young woman with “vivid auburn hair” being chased by a man....
Feeding the imagination

Feeding the imagination

Writing a novel about a vampire wasn’t a conscious decision. Before I knew what Woman, Eating would be about, I knew that I wanted to explore the experience of being of mixed Asian and British descent in England. One day, quite suddenly, Lydia – the protagonist of Woman, Eating – was just there in my...
Staying in, not slowing down

Staying in, not slowing down

On the release of Both of You, her twenty-first novel in as many years, the author of the Number 1 bestselling Lies Lies Lies and Just My Luck reflects on keeping going during lockdown, some of her literary influences and heroes, and the routine and discipline that always underpin the creative process. Where are you now? Right...
All the love in the world

All the love in the world

“It is nice when two people come together in the universe,” Huma Qureshi remembers telling her young son in the opening pages of How We Met. He promptly asks how she and his dad Richard came to be together, and so begins Huma’s story of her quest for married love. It’s a short book –...
Lasting impressions

Lasting impressions

I often panic when I am asked about my ‘favourite’ books, especially since publishing my own debut novel Hashim & Family earlier this year. It is such a personal question – there is so much to be understood about someone from learning about the books that they love – that it can almost feel like...
Playing God

Playing God

Nikita Lalwani’s latest novel You People poses the tantalising question: in a world where the law is against you, how far would you be willing to lie for a chance to live? Set in London pizzeria where half the kitchen staff are undocumented immigrants, it is a witty and humane snapshot of undervalued lives and...
Spirits and stimulations

Spirits and stimulations

Rosanna Amaka’s The Book of Echoes is a searing debut novel about hope, redemption and the scars of history, narrated by the spirit of an enslaved African who journeys to 1980s Brixton and a sun-baked village in Nigeria, drawing together and transforming the lives of two youngsters who are struggling to hold onto their dreams....
Learning from the masters

Learning from the masters

Forget thrillers. Forget horror. Forget (forgive me) crime, and historical novels, and all the rest. For me, if you want a page-turner, Icelandic sagas are where it’s at. Sagas are the novels of the medieval world. By which I mean, as prose narratives go, they’re miles ahead of anything else being written in medieval Europe:...
Morrissey built my bookshelf

Morrissey built my bookshelf

I didn’t read a lot as a child and, to a certain extent, I still don’t. Time being the most valuable commodity there is, ideas for my own writing – and the things that inspire me creatively – usually come from other sources; from visual media and, above all, from music. I’m someone who gets...
Sophisticated murder

Sophisticated murder

I was ten years old, living in England due to my father’s job transfer, when I first saw an Alfred Hitchcock film. That film was Dial M for Murder, Hitchcock’s 1954 adaptation of Frederick Knott’s stage play. If I were introducing the films of Alfred Hitchcock to a ten-year-old boy, Dial M for Murder would...