'I was always envious of the flute section in the orchestra at school; a row of neat-looking, trendy girls who didn't have to concern themselves with valve oil or spit keys.'
'Fiction suggests rather than dictates, it alludes rather than presents; building deep wells layer by layer where what's not written is as important as what's actually written.'
'Without the invitation I would never have brought these disparate experiences together, never compared the perspectives on writing and gardens they offered, never combined autobiography and architectural comment. What luck! What a pleasure. '
'But perhaps you were never young? Perhaps you came into existence fully fledged as a know all? Remember the blackboard in the basement of our home and the shriek of the chalk?'
'For the first forty-four years of my life I've always felt in some way or other, myself, wrong. Wrong inside this body. Wrong inside my head. Not a strong wrongness, but a slight vague feeling.'
'It was never a conscious choice. I was constructing narrative long before I could actually write it. If no one ever read or performed my work I would still keep on doing it.'
'I write 'hot', or in other words quite quickly. Having left a completed draft well alone for a month or more I go back, cooler, chastened, ready to repent at leisure.'
'She recited poems to me that she'd learned at school before leaving at 14 to help tend to soldiers returning wounded from the First World War, and recounted the Greek myths that, as an autodidact, she'd later immersed herself in.'