Writing On Literature

  • This Questionnaire was published in the Galway Advertiser last Thursday, as part of the lead up to the Cuirt International Festival of Literature, where I'll be sharing the stage with John Banville on April 25th. There may be some tickets still available. Proust Questionnaire What is your idea of perfect happiness? The week after finishing a book, preferably in July, during the mountain stages of the Tour de France. Which historical figure do you most identify with? Napoleon, on the way back. Usually from Moscow but sometimes, too, from Elba. Which living person do you most admire? It can’t be easy being Barack Obama. Which is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Indecision. No, self-pity. I hate feeling

    Apr 16,
  • This is a transcript of an interview with Marie Rennard’s website Melting Pot that will appear in French only. It will read excellently in French, because Marie is an excellent translator, but this is the interview in its original form. I love reading French, but don't want to write it. Vive la difference. Françoise Sagan disait qu'on naissait écrivain, ou romancier, mais qu'on ne pouvait le devenir. Etes-vous d'accord avec cette idée ? I hope not. The idea that anyone is born to anything, unchangeably, is both frightening and reminiscent of the beliefs of my old friend from Dry Bones, John Calvin.  Francoise Sagan and John Calvin.  Now there's an unexpected match. Quels sont vos écrivains (ou livres) préférés, et pourquoi

    Nov 18,
  • Questions by Andrew Cowan, Course Director, MA in Creative Writing, UEA Richard, what was your background – what were you doing before you came to UEA? Writing.  Working.  Too much working (games teacher, barman, exhibition attendant, manservant) not enough writing.  I’d been out of college for six years, had finished four novels, the third of which enticed a nibble from a couple of agents.  One of them sent it to three or four publishers but it came straight back. What prompted you to apply for the MA? I wanted to write another novel, but not in the same way, or as a very wise man once said: if you do what you always do, you’ll get what you always get. 

    Mar 12,
  • Questions by Catriona Ferguson   Hearing Myself Think offers a fascinating snapshot of a contemporary, global world.  Was the story a deliberate attempt to examine where individuals place themselves within this epoch? Well, the sense of ‘now’ inside the world’s busiest airport seemed like a promising place to start.  But I wouldn’t say I set out with such a grand theme in mind – the size of the idea would have been utterly disheartening.  Recently I seem to have spent a lot of time in airports surrounded by people I don’t know.  I always have the feeling I really should have bumped into someone by now, but I never have.  So I wondered why that might be, and how long

    Jul 12,
  • Entretien à paraître en mars 2005 dans l'annuaire "L'année 2004 dans l'édition", supplément de la revue Ecrire & Editer. Un numéro en vente au Salon du Livre de Paris. Il y a quatre ans, lors de notre première rencontre, Richard Beard vivait dans la campagne anglaise. Il venait de publier son troisième roman, The Cartoonist, récit d'un sabotage rocambolesque dans un parc d'attraction modelé sur Disneyland Paris. Depuis l'artiste a changé d'air. Il s'est envolé pour Tokyo pour y enseigner l'écriture à de futurs ministres japonais. Il n'a pas abandonné le métier pour autant. Après Dry Bones , son quatrième roman, Beard s'est lancer dans la non-fiction. En pleine coupe du Monde de rugby 2003, il sort un petit succès

    Mar 12,