Author and actress Pauline Melville was born in Guyana in 1948 to an English mother and a Guyanese father. She began acting in the 1960s, starring in Far From the Madding Crowd (1967), and TV shows The Young Ones and Blackadder. Melville won the Commonwealth Writers Prize with her first book, Shape-shifter (1990), a collection of short stories exploring post-colonial existence in the Caribbean. Her first novel, The Ventriloquist’s Tale (1997), won the Whitbread First Novel Award and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. More short stories followed with The Migration of Ghosts (1998), and another novel, Eating Air, in 2009. From her Q &A with Anna Metcalfe for the Financial Times:
What book do you wish you’d written?Read the complete Q & A.
Difficult one that. Probably The Possessed by Dostoyevsky.
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Who are your literary influences?
Gabriel García Márquez, Flannery O’Connor, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Graham Greene, Samuel Beckett, Shakespeare. I fear that the influence doesn’t always show.
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Who would you choose to play you in a film about your life?
Anna Karina – in her youth when she was in the Godard movies.