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Lydia Syson speaks with Catherine O’Flynn about childhood freedom in Botswana, how Critical Theory nearly destroyed her writing career, history as vicarious travel and her obsessive accuracy when it comes to historical and geographical details.

'I see the City as a fascinating combination of a historical archive and a contemporary drama. If you go to a street corner, intending to write about the past, the present will invariably interject in some unforeseen way.'
'Although you can imagine the Saffron Hill rookery that Oliver Twist was spirited away to by the Artful Dodger to meet Fagin, the place itself is now home to luxury apartments, and shops. Dickens' poor no longer live in the city centre.'

Ros Schwartz speaks with Ann Morgan about translating classic literature, learning to ventriloquise other writers, the importance of leaving some words untranslated and the linguistic challenges of the front-loading washing machine.

'Knowledge of life in these cities — that I could never have acquired without inhabiting them — surfaced in my fiction. Each gave me subjects for my work. Sometimes though, I have to leave a city in order to write about it.'

Alicia Foster speaks with Catherine O’Flynn about her unusual childhood in an isolated former nursing home, growing up goth, her twin passions of visual art and literature, and accidentally becoming a novelist after being an academic.

Karl Whitney describes how a mundane government document was the unlikely spark for his first book and how he found inspiration beneath Dublin’s streets.
'Does 'inspiration' actually quicken your breath? Perhaps the neurologists can tell us. Inspiration links what I am looking at, listening to, being drawn to, to what I am about to envisage myself.'

Linda Cracknell travels to France in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson, considering the effects of motion and travel on writing and discovering that sitting beside a river can be as much of a journey as sitting on a long distance train.

Dan Richards visits the beautiful archipelago that provided both part-time home and profound inspiration for one of Finland’s best-loved writers.

Sue Roe describes her visits to the houses of some famous artists, and reflects on how these buildings and their surroundings are portrayed in their respective works.

James McConnachie speaks with Julia Copus about the plight of non-fiction books in an internet age, his travel writing adventures and the joy of (writing about) sex.

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