Originally published in 1985, fourteen foremost writers of fiction give detailed accounts of their writings in this absorbing collection by John Haffenden, whom The Sunday Times has applauded for having ‘perfected’ the art of the literary interview. Bringing together discussions with a wide range of authors in Britain at the time, the volume contains interviews with Martin Amis, Malcolm Bradbury, Anita Brookner, Angela Carter, William Golding, Russell Hoban, David Lodge, Ian McEwan, Iris Murdoch, V.S. Pritchett, Salman Rushdie, David Storey, Emma Tennant and Fay Weldon.
John Haffenden questions them about the creative process, about specific works – including Golding’s Rites of Passage, Hoban’s Riddley Walker, Murdoch’s The Philosopher’s Pupil and Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children and Shame – and about the ideas and visions which inform those works. The writers provide lively, fascinating and often definitive responses which offer many insights into the value and function of fiction. The volume also includes discussions of cultural context and of narrative techniques and kinds – realist, postmodernist, fabulous – offering immediate material for critical debate. For all who are interested in twentieth century fiction it is essential reading.