John Banville's many books include The Sea, which won the 2007 Man Booker Prize, The Infinities, the newly released Ancient Light, and several crime novels under the pseudonym Benjamin Black.
From his Q & A with Noah Charney at The Daily Beast:
Your work has been variously, and positively, compared to Nabokov, Dostoevsky, and Camus, to name a few. Which authors were formative to your writing style, and which comparison do you think is the nearest approximation?Learn about the book John Banville most wants his kids to read.
Nabokov was a great love of my youth, but I find his artistic self-absorption and tone of self-satisfaction increasingly irritating. Dostoevsky is such a bad writer it is hard to take him seriously as a novelist, though he is a wonderful philosopher. Ditto Camus, though perhaps “wonderful” is a bit strong. What is odd is that no one ever seems to notice that the two real influences on my work are Yeats and Henry James.
Authors who have not won multiple awards (or indeed any) are always curious how the winning of awards affects one’s career.
The effect of prizes on one’s career—if that is what to call it—is considerable, since they give one more clout with publishers and more notoriety among journalists. The effect on one’s writing, however, is nil—otherwise, one would be in deep trouble. All prizes are more or less lotteries. To take the judgement of prize juries as a measure of one’s talent would be...[read on].