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David Szalay interview

David Szalay interview

David Szalay tells us about the buzz in the UK, North America and elsewhere since All That Man Is was longlisted, and reveals his favourite Man Booker Prize-winning novel.

This is part of our series of Man Booker Prize 2016 longlisted author interviews.

What has it been like to be longlisted?

It’s always nice, of course, to receive public recognition for work that you’ve done – especially work as solitary and introspective as writing fiction – and being longlisted for the Man Booker Prize certainly constitutes a fairly major dose of recognition, so there was a bit of buzz when I got the news. And that buzz has extended to the general reception of the book, not just in the UK but in North America and elsewhere. It’s been a very pleasant experience.

What are you working on next?

I’m about to start a new book, though it’s still too early to say much about it.

What are you reading at the moment?

In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust.

What is your favourite Man Booker-winning novel?

The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst.

Is it fair to say that men, however different they may seem, are essentially driven by love, money and fear of loneliness?

I think that probably is fair to say, as far as it goes. And those three things are of course all tangled up together, rather than being entirely distinct from each other. Nor do I think there’s anything intrinsically problematic about that state of affairs; though that’s not to say that something else isn’t needed – something which isn’t part of that tangle, which lies outside it, and which our civilisation, to risk a grandiose statement, is perhaps currently failing to provide.

David Szalay