Award-winning novelist and screenwriter William Boyd talks about his writing process, his film and television experiences from Chaplin to Cork, chimpanzees, what makes his favourite films and what he had for breakfast.
5 books that are most important to me.The Collected Stories of Anton ChekhovThe greatest short story writer the world has ever seen. Stories, well over a hundred years old now, that read as if they were written for 2007: dry, absurd, resolutely secular — the most honest clear-eyed look at the strange tragi-comedy of our […]
I am lucky enough to be a sound sleeper, in the main, though, like everyone, when my brain is racing I have my ‘nuits blanches’ from time to time. However, my sound sleep is not uninterrupted. Two things wake me in the night: recurring dreams and what I can only describe as ‘London’. I have […]
1. You were born in Ghana and lived there and in Nigeria for many years. How did that experience influence your work? I think it has had a huge effect on my work but I’m reluctant to analyse that effect too closely. Because I was born in Africa and grew up there I think my […]
1. How did the idea of writing Ordinary Thunderstorms come to mind and was there any particular challenge involved? It’s a complicated answer. First of all I had the large and vague ambition of writing a novel about London, contemporary London, a city I’ve lived in now for over a quarter of a century. But how to […]
William Boyd, 54, was born in Ghana, where his mother was a teacher and his father a doctor. He was a junior don at Oxford and working as a journalist when his first novel, A Good Man In Africa, was published in 1981. It won the Whitbread First Novel Award. He is the author of […]
The French Academy has just launched a website to warn against the most frequent and « ridiculous » errors in the use of the French language. What do you think of such an initiative? Do you think languages should be protected from impoverishering or evolving? It’s very difficult to protect languages. You can issue all […]
After writing 17 novels, numerous screenplays and countless reviews and essays, do you feel as inspired now as you did say 20 or 30 years ago? Yes, I do actually. Funnily enough I feel in the last three of four years a new surge of energy. I don’t know whether it’s because I’m getting older, […]