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'One of the most privileged existences you can imagine'

14 September 2014

‘Don't believe any novelist who tells you it's all agony. It's actually one of the most privileged existences you can imagine - assuming you can live by it...

I couldn't write all the time. As a writer, you have to come out into the world. I don't have a Salinger or Pynchon impulse. There are so many things to do that are interesting. I do half a dozen literary festivals a year. The pleasure of festivals is meeting up with other authors and friends...

I think I will write, in my 70s, more novellas. I love the idea of sitting down to read something in three hours - about the length of an opera, or a long movie, or a play where all of its structure can be held in the mind. A novella is a great length, and it's a demanding genre in which things have to be settled quickly.'

Ian McEwan, author of The Children Act, in the Observer