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Ian Thomson speaks with Gabriel Gbadamosi about the writer’s need for selfishness, the use of not being comfortable in one’s own skin, subverting Englishness with JG Ballard and writing about Jamaica, Primo Levi and Haiti.

Pascale Petit recounts how the sudden re-emergence of her long-absent father triggered both a sense that she’d discovered the material for her new book, but also a complete inability to write it.

Penny Hancock explains how a professional setback and a series of personal losses led her to decide to give up writing completely - and how the unusual life story of an elderly relative provided two kinds of inspiration for starting again.