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Catherine O’Flynn dissects her enthusiasm for failed utopias, such as the ghost real estate ventures of the Spanish Riviera, and the influence of growing up surrounded by the 'bizarre and melancholy landscaped public spaces' of Birmingham.

Siân Rees takes us to Asunción in Paraguay, where magical realism makes sense and ghosts haunt the landscape and the imagination.

‘This certainly hasn’t declined since the days when I read forbidden books under the bedclothes, but you could say I’ve got it a little more under control.’
‘Some novels shine with their brilliance, whereas others seem to have arrived on the best-selling list by luck.’