Detachment is what interests me, seeing how people couldn't have been any other way, how they were the product of forces that they had no control over.
I'm not trying to uncover the facts of my life but to discover the dramatic truth of the situations I was in.
Proust is a hero of mine. I read 'A la recherche' in one go, and I'm a very slow reader. It had an astonishing impact, reading it on my own and being my main company. I think Proust is the most intelligent person to ever have written a novel.
I think that some laughter comes from escaped horror, doesn't it?
It's no use imagining that bringing great writers together inevitably precipitates great conversation.
The Booker 2011 is of no more interest to me than the world heavyweight championship, which I'm not going to win either. It's irrelevant.
The first book I fell in love with was 'Little Toot,' the story of an adorable tugboat operating out of New York Harbor.
The thing about the 'Melrose' novels is that I have to feel they're impossible when I set out.
Well, the attractive thing about the subject of happiness is that it is notoriously difficult to write.
I see the author as the person who has written; the writer, the one involved in the process of writing. And they're not necessarily friends. The writer is the one I want to reinforce; the author would just feed on the reviews - so I'm in favour of starving him.
I'm really not responsible for what mental operation people have when they're reading my books other than the ones which are created by literary effects.
The whole 'Melrose' series is an attempt to tell the truth, and is based on the idea that there is some salutary or liberating power in telling the truth.