This article is from 2007.
The intense pressures of modern living are high on the agenda in Lionel Shriver’s books. Here she kicks back and takes on our Q&A
5 words to describe your latest book, The Post-Birthday World?
Fun, funny, painful, warm (for once), and bittersweet.
4 authors who you think should be more famous than they are now?
Richard Yates, Maria McCann, Peter Cameron and Robert Stone.
3 books that had the most profound effect on you before you became a writer?
Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner, The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky, and War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I read fat, lofty novels in my teens and now I read trash.
2 things that you love about book festivals?
Meeting my audience and hamming it up doing readings; like many writers, I am a frustrated thespian.
1 thing you’d change about the publishing world?
The fact that authors are now expected to devote months of their lives to the promotion of every book, which is not only a waste of time but, with its incessant me-me-me, is intrinsically embarrassing. Moreover, some excellent writers are not cut out to be song-and-dance celebrities, are not frustrated thespians.
n 25 Aug, 8pm, £8 (£6).