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Writing fiction

22 March 2010

'It either works on an imaginative level or it doesn't... that's my whole raison d'etre, going into spaces that I don't normally inhabit, exploring them and trying to bring something out which enables people to feel a greater empathy. I think that's one of the justifications for writing fiction - you can make real to somebody something which they feel very difficult to understand...

(Historical novels) are just novels that have a past location and are therefore not swept away by the tide of present day life so fast. This is the great agony of trying to capture the present in a novel - it's a very slow thing to write and present life moves on in a hideously unexpected and overtaking kind of way.'

Rose Tremain, whose new novel is Trespass, in the Bookseller