AN Wilson: ‘Writing novels, I still feel the terror’


This post is by Rachel Cooke from Books | The Guardian


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The novelist on his love story set in post-earthquake New Zealand, trolls and why Don Quixote is overrated

AN Wilson is a prize-winning novelist (My Name Is Legion, Winnie and Wolf, The Potter’s Hand); a biographer whose subjects have included John Betjeman and Queen Victoria; and a former columnist for the London Evening Standard. He has presented documentaries for the BBC, most recently Return to Larkinland, about the poet Philip Larkin. He lives in London, where he’s working on a biography of Prince Albert: “When I was writing about Queen Victoria, I came to loathe him; he just seemed to want to control her, like Rob Titchener in The Archers. But now I see his genius.”

Your new novel, Aftershocks, is your 23rd work of fiction, and your 44th book. Are you blase about publication, or does it still hold terror ...