Julian Barnes: interview



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The acclaimed writer whose literary career took flight with the London-set voyage of discovery, ‘Metroland’, Julian Barnes is one of Time Out London’s 40th birthday heroes

  • Julian Barnes: interview

    Julian Barnes: 'Better than if I had been made a hero of the Soviet Union'

  • See all Time Out's 40th birthday London heroes

    You’ve been chosen as one of Time Out’s 40th anniversary heroes. How do you feel about that?

    ‘Better than if I had been made a hero of the Soviet Union.’

    Who are your London heroes?

    Dr Johnson, the London Symphony Orchestra’s brass section and everyone who cooks at Moro restaurant.’

    What’s the biggest thing that’s happened in your field in the past 40 years?

    ‘The deep parochialisation of British fiction.’

    What’s your favourite place or thing in London?

    ‘The old tram tunnel under Kingsway always gives me a thrill to drive through, of a sort that I don’t want to investigate too closely.’

    What’s your personal favourite moment in London? Where were you and what was happening?

    ‘Camden Registry Office, September 1 1979. You can guess the rest.’

    What’s the future for your field in London? What are your hopes and what needs to happen?

    ‘More small publishers, more small independent bookshops, more big independent writers.’

    What does Time Out mean to you?

    ‘I once wrote a series of thrillers under a pseudonym about a detective called Duffy, and he always read Time Out. I thought this made him cutting-edge at the time, but I was told it made him very middle class.’

    Complete the sentence: London is…

    ‘…indescribably various.’See all Time Out's 40th birthday London heroes

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