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" You learn a lot, writing fiction. "
" Deep down I have this atavistic feeling that really I should be in the country. "
" I do like to embed a fictional character firmly in an occupation. "
" I didn't think I had anything particular to say, but I thought I might have something to say to children. "
" Every novel generates its own climate, when you get going. "
" I've always been fascinated by the operation of memory - the way in which it is not linear but fragmented, and its ambivalence. "
" We read Greek and Norse mythology until it came out of our ears. And the Bible. "
" I didn't want it to be a book that made pronouncements. "
" The consideration of change over the century is about loss, though I think that social change is gain rather than loss. "
" It seems to me that everything that happens to us is a disconcerting mix of choice and contingency. "
" The present hardly exists, after all-it becomes the past even as it happens. A tricky medium, time - and central to the concerns of fiction. "
" It was a combination of an intense interest in children's literature, which I've always had, and the feeling that I'd just have a go and see if I could do it. "
" I'm not an historian and I'm not wanting to write about how I perceive the social change over the century as a historian, but as somebody who's walked through it and whose life has been dictated by it too, as all our lives are. "
" I rather like getting away from fiction. "
" I'm not an historian but I can get interested - obsessively interested - with any aspect of the past, whether it's palaeontology or archaeology or the very recent past. "
" I didn't write anything until I was well over 30. "
" We make choices but are constantly foiled by happenstance. "
" I'm writing another novel and I know what I'm going to do after, which may be something more like this again, maybe some strange mixture of fiction and non-fiction. "
" There's a preoccupation with memory and the operation of memory and a rather rapacious interest in history. "
" The Photograph is concerned with the power that the past has to interfere with the present: the time bomb in the cupboard. "
" I have had to empty two family homes during the last few years - first, the house that had been my grandmother's since 1923, and then my own country home, which we had lived in for over twenty years. "
" I'm now an agnostic but I grew up on the King James version, which I'm eternally grateful for. "
" I have long been interested in landscape history, and when younger and more robust I used to do much tramping of the English landscape in search of ancient field systems, drove roads, indications of prehistoric settlement. "
" I'm intrigued by the way in which physical appearance can often direct a person's life; things happen differently for a beautiful woman than for a plain one. "
" I can walk about London and see a society that seems an absolutely revolutionary change from the 1950s, that seems completely and utterly different, and then I can pick up on something where you suddenly see that it's not. "