Sarah Hall is the author of Haweswater, which won the 2003 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Novel, a Society of Authors Betty Trask Award, and a Lakeland Book of the Year prize.
In 2004, her second novel, The Electric Michelangelo, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Eurasia region), and the Prix Femina Etranger, and was longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction.
Her third novel, The Carhullan Army, was published in 2007, and won the 2006/07 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the James Tiptree Jr. Award, a Lakeland Book of the Year prize, and was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction. Her fourth novel, How To Paint A Dead Man, published in 2009, was longlisted for the Man Booker prize and won the 2010 Portico Prize.
Hall's latest book is the short story collection The Beautiful Indifference.
From her Q & A with Boyd Tonkin for the Independent:
Choose a favourite author, and say why you admire her/himRead the complete Q & A.
Cormac MacCarthy. Very few novelists have the ability to terrify me – and he does. It isn't so much the violence in his books as the menacing quality that comes from the dark possibilities that lie within human beings. He taps into that in a non-Gothic and highly realistic way. It's very real, and very frightening.
* * *
Which fictional character most resembles you?
I'd like to think it would be someone like Ree Dolly in [Daniel Woodrell's] 'Winter's Bone': looking after a family, and being tough and practical. She has durability, and I would like to think I have that.
* * *
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
I'm always impressed when I come across a story of an ordinary person who does something extraordinary: a random passer-by who has jumped into a frozen river to save someone else, or a pensioner who wallops a mugger.