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Author Focus: Chris Cleave

Author Chris Cleave Image Credit: https://www.nowtoronto.com/guides/ifoa/2012/story.cfm?content=189140

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Writer's Edit were lucky enough to have a moment with author, Chris Cleave. With his debut novel Incendiary shortlisted for the 2006 Commonwealth Writer's Prize and taking out a Somerset Maugham Award that same year, readers knew there was something special about this writer. More success followed with his novels The Other Hand (also titled Little Bee in Canada and the U.S.) and Gold, his most recent novel, published only last year. Living in London with his wife and three children, Cleave is working on his next writing project and hopes to have it the first draft complete by Christmas this year.

Chris Cleave's standout novel 'The Other Hand', also titled 'Little Bee' in Canada and the U.S.
Chris Cleave's standout novel 'The Other Hand', also titled 'Little Bee' in Canada and the U.S.

Writer's Edit: Are there any books that changed or influenced you as a writer?

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Chris Cleave: Yes, there are quite a few books that have changed me as a writer & as a person, I suppose. I don’t think I was ever the same after I read One Hundred Years of Solitude. Virginia Woolf’s work is very important to me. I would never have been a writer (I was trying to be a scientist) if I hadn’t read Primo Levi’s books – especially The Periodic Table – at university. I think I am improving slowly with the years, but I’m still working towards writing something on the level of those writers. There are a few present day novelists who inspire me, too. These days I am not so much influenced by people’s style, but rather by their example. In that regard I admire Philipp Meyer for his uncompromising attitude to the craft as much as for the superb work he produces.

Check out Chris' website here.

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