Lionel Shriver
Novelist
01:28

What Keeps Lionel Shriver Up at Night

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The author stays up trying to figuring out where to position her writing desk, and solves many of her fictional questions in her sleep.

Lionel Shriver

Lionel Shriver's latest novel, "So Much for That," was published in March 2010. Other novels include the New York Times bestseller "The Post-Birthday World" and the international bestseller "We Need to Talk About Kevin," which won the 2005 Orange Prize and has now sold over a million copies worldwide. Earlier books include "Double Fault," "A Perfectly Good Family," and "Checker and the Derailleurs." Her novels have been translated into twenty-five languages. Her journalism has appeared in the Guardian, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. She lives in London.
Transcript

Question: What keeps you up at night?

Lionel Shriver: You know, that’s funny.  This sounds so petty.  But, what kept me up last night was, I just moved house in London and my study is just a pile of cartons and I’m tortured where to put the desk.  So, last night I was rearranging furniture in my head.  So, it goes from the mundanities like that.  Actually most writers would probably not see that as mundane.  The orientation of a desk is bizarrely important.  

Otherwise, I don’t know.  The state of my marriage if I recently had a fight, or what to do in chapter three.  I solve a lot of fictional questions in my sleep.  That is, I’ll go to sleep thinking about something and wake up with the answer.  I find dreams and the state of unconsciousness very creatively useful. 

Recorded on March 12, 2010


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