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‘By the time I get to the boggy third quarter of writing a novel… I’m thoroughly sick of the ‘guests’.’

Jill Dawson discusses the writers – mostly American, many black – that nourished her through a series of difficult youthful circumstances, offering her 'a shape to discover myself in'.

Mavis Cheek speaks with James McConnachie about her challenging family background, and how discovering that she ‘had a brain’ took her from ‘Sixties dolly bird’ to acclaimed author of witty contemporary novels.

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