David Lodge is a literary critic and novelist who has won numerous awards for his books and was twice shortlisted for the Booker Prize (for Small World and Nice Work).
A couple of exchanges from his brief Q & A with Anna Metcalfe for the Financial Times:
Read the full Q & A.
James Joyce's Ulysses , which I read as an undergraduate. It had a tremendous effect on my own writing and remains the single most exciting literary experience I ever had.* * *
Who would you like to sit next to at a dinner party?
Henry James. I'd love to find out how close I was in my novel about him. And he was a great diner-out.
From a mini-profile of Lodge in the Guardian:
Lodge invented a literary parlour game called 'Humiliation' in Changing Places, which remains popular at dinner parties. Players name classics of literature that they have not read, the winner being the one who exhibits the most woeful literary lacuna. In Changing Places, Lodge's obnoxious American academic, Howard Ringbaum, admits that he has never read Hamlet - and thus wins the game (but loses his job). Lodge himself owns up to War and Peace.View a photo of David Lodge's writing room.