The process of writing a novel is getting to know more about the novel until you know everything about it. And it's been described as a kind of dreamlike state where you're letting the novel make its own shape, and you're putting into it the pleasure of creation, which is intoxicating.
The middle class is doing fine in fiction. But it's not what gets me going. I love the working class, and everyone from it I've met, and think they're incredibly witty, inventive - there's a lot of poetry there.
Kingsley Amis was a lenient father. His paternal style, in the early years, can best be described as amiably minimalist - in other words, my mother did it all.
All novelists write in a different way, but I always write in longhand and then do two versions of typescript on a computer.
When I go back to the core of my childhood, my cousin Lucy seems always to be in the peripheral vision of my memories. She is off to one side, always off to one side, with a book, with a scheme or a project or an enterprise.
Novelists are stamina merchants, grinders, nine-to-fivers, and their career curves follow the usual arc of human endeavour.
Present-day Spain translates as many books into Spanish, annually, as the Arab world has translated into Arabic in the past 1,100 years.
Bullets cannot be recalled. They cannot be uninvented. But they can be taken out of the gun.
When I wrote 'The Pregnant Widow' three or four years ago, I tried to reread my first novel, 'The Rachel Papers,' because their young heroes are the same age. I couldn't finish it. It seemed to me so technically slapdash and weak.
Novelists don't age as quickly as philosophers, who often face professional senility in their late twenties.
Jane was my wicked stepmother: she was generous, affectionate and resourceful; she salvaged my schooling and I owe her an unknowable debt for that. One flaw: sometimes, early on, she would tell me things designed to make me think less of my mother, and I would wave her away, saying, 'Jane, this just backfires and makes me think less of you.'
Money doesn't mind if we say it's evil, it goes from strength to strength. It's a fiction, an addiction, and a tacit conspiracy.
Only in art will the lion lie down with the lamb, and the rose grow without thorn.
Only in art will the lion lie down with the lamb, and the rose grow without the thorn.
In America, the policeman is a working-class hero. In England, the policeman is a working-class traitor.