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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.

‘She recited poems to me that she’d learned at school before leaving at 14 to tend to soldiers returning wounded from the First World War.’
‘I wrote more to occupy my time and because writing was an activity suited to my hyperactive imagination and love of language, than to learn about Japan.’
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