There are a lot of female artists my age around at the moment, but they're all American and blonde and blue-eyed and smiley. I'm totally the opposite of that. I want to show a bit more attitude and I have an opinion.
I am drawn, as a reader, to detail-drenched stories about human lives affected as much by the internal as by the external, the kind of fiction that Jane Smiley nicely describes as 'first and foremost about how individuals fit, or don't fit, into their social worlds.'
I'm quite an optimist, quite happy in life, quite smiley.
The creation of George Smiley, the retired spy recalled to hunt for just such a high-ranking mole in 'Tinker, Tailor,' was extremely personal. I borrowed elements of people I admired and invested them in this mythical character. I'm such a fluent, specious person now, but I was an extremely awkward fellow in those days.