Saturday, June 11, 2011

D.J. Taylor

D.J. Taylor was born in 1960, went to Norwich School and St John's College, Oxford, and is the author of two acclaimed biographies, Thackerary (1999), and Orwell: The Life, which won the Whitbread Biography Prize in 2003. He has written nine novels, the most recent being Derby Day (2011), At the Chime of a City Clock (2010), Ask Alice (2009) and Kept: A Victorian Mystery (2006).

From his Q & A at the Independent:

Choose a favourite author, and say why you admire her/him

John Cheever. I'm convinced that the creators of 'Mad Men' – which I think is absolutely brilliant – have been reading Cheever. You could draw a Venn diagram to connect them.

* * *
Which fictional character most resembles you?

Any one of the embittered hacks in 'New Grub Street', George Gissing's astringent vision of the late-Victorian literary marketplace.

* * *
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

In public life it is the Labour MP Frank Field, for his maverick qualities. He has undeviatingly followed his own moral line.
Read the complete Q & A.

Learn about the book that changed D.J. Taylor's life.

Visit D.J. Taylor's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue