Happy Birthday, Susanna Clarke, born 1 November 1959
- A piece of writing is like a piece of magic. You create something out of nothing.
- I always really liked magicians. I’m not even sure why—except that they know things other people don’t and they live in untidy rooms full of strange objects.
- I’ve been writing since my late teens (rather a long time ago). Behind me you’ll find the scattered debris of several abandoned novels.Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell took 10 years to write. I used to write it in the mornings before I went to work. I also wrote at weekends — luckily my partner, Colin, is also a writer and so he understood why we never went anywhere for 10 years.
- To sit and pass hour after hour in idle chatter with a roomful of strangers is to me the worst sort of torment.
- It seems to me that what writers are supposed to do is use their imaginations. Imagination is one of the most important things we have.
- C. S.Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia were the most important books of my childhood and showed me the sheer delight of escaping into other, more interesting worlds through reading. I still love Lewis’s narrative voice — so authoritative, but matter-of-fact and so gently ironic.
- I can write most places — either in a notebook or on my iBook. I don’t particularly need silence. This has been and continues to be a great boon. I am especially fond of writing on trains. The continual flow of scenery and unrelated images is very beneficial to writing.
Clarke is a British author best known for her debut novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, a Hugo Award-winning alternate history. She has also published a collection of her short stories, The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories.
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