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'The book is writing itself somewhere in my head'

27 April 2020

‘I often write everything all at once. Memory isn't linear for me, nor is experience, but I try to keep it as straight as I can. A sense of fluidity and shift, and that energy, that is about change. It's really integral to my work, which is not about the past becoming a stable object. The past very rarely settles down. It shifts under our gaze all the time. When we articulate things, the past becomes different and so I resist and sometimes resent writers who say, "What is, is" and "What was, was", because to me it changes constantly....

What I tend to do is to focus on one or two paragraphs or chapters pretty much endlessly for months and months at a time, and it feels like I'm getting nowhere. I feel like I'm never going to get this book done, but the book is writing itself somewhere in my head.'

Anne Enright, author of just-published Actress, Booker Prize-winning A Gathering, The Green Road, The Forgotten Waltz and three other novels in the Bookseller