World Book Night

April 23rd was World Book Night 2013. I was a party organised by Hamworthy Library in Poole with many local people and three other Dorset authors. We talked about our favourite books and took questions. I spoke about my admiration for Mark Haddon’s wonderful book, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time”, and Monica Ali’s superb novel, “Brick Lane”, about the Bangladeshi community in East London, and finally my favourite classic book: “Persuasion” by Jane Austen. All three books have themes of identity and self-determination – the main characters are initially marginalised and isolated but at the end of each story they have gained equilibrium (Haddon), independence (Ali), and happiness in love (Austen). There is comedy and tragedy in each of them. Selecting three books is very arbitrary – the choice depends on my mood and memory, so my favourite books might well be quite different the next time I’m asked.