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Longlisted author Q&A: What are you working on next?

Longlisted author Q&A: What are you working on next?

What are you working on next?

Tash Aw: I'm working on some translations and a couple of long short stories.

NoViolet Bulawayo: I've been trying to do a story collection but it felt like I was pinching a stone so I'm leaving it alone. Now I'm just resting, recovering from We Need New Names, and living life. I'm not sure where exactly my pen is going next but I'm still looking forward to the journey once I'm sufficiently inspired. 

Eleanor Catton: I teach part-time at a polytechnic in South Auckland, and that job, along with promoting The Luminaries, is keeping me busy right now. I’m really interested in how creative writing is taught as a discipline, and have an idea for a book-length essay that develops a theory of creative education. Perhaps that will be my next project.

Jim Crace: An extravagant stage play which is a contemporary reworking of the Minotaur legend.

Eve Harris: I have a few ideas swirling around, but right now I need to let the dust settle before I can focus on my next book.

Richard House: I’m working on a new series of novels which will have mixed media aspects (I think), which is why I was in Iceland – to check out some places, and shoot some footage. There’s a brother and sister who were raised in hotels across Europe (so I’m heading to Paris and Amsterdam as I write). I work well on the move, and this is at that stage where the ideas gain depth and dimension and begin to glue together. Some of the material I’ve been reading for the new work is disturbing – so at the moment I’m digesting it all.

Jumpha Lahiri: I have been writing some short pieces experimentally in Italian. I have been studying Italian for many years, and live now in Rome, and feel inspired to work, at least for the time being, in another language. It’s like learning to write all over again. Eventually, I’d like to write a book about this experience, and about my relationship to language generally.

Alison MacLeod: A story collection and the early treatment for my next novel. I can’t say much about the latter yet – it’s still a humming secret in my head – but the story collection has grown up alongside Unexploded over the last five years. Several of the stories were originally commissioned pieces written for the BBC, Comma Press, The Asham Award Trust and Salt Publishing, for example. At times, when I’m writing a novel, it’s a delight and an indescribable relief to be able to finish something. Stories take months, not years. Ultimately though, for me as a writer there really are only stories – long stories and short stories – and I adore both forms.

Colum McCann: I often feel exhausted after writing a novel, and sometimes even unsure that I’ll be able to do anything else.  And then there’s a good deal of touring and talking to be done … I wake up in the morning and want to roll away from myself! This is a good feeling because it means that I’m ready to inhabit another story. I’ve a few projects lurking around but mostly I’m just waiting for the one that feels entirely necessary. 

Charlotte Mendelson: Please don't even ask that question.

Ruth Ozeki: I’m mulling over ideas for two novels, one set in New Haven, Connecticut, during the 1960s, and the other set in Tokyo, Japan, during the 1920s. The two ideas are vying for my attention right now, and I’m not sure which one will win. Maybe they will merge. Who knows?

Donal Ryan: My second novel, The Thing About December, is finished and due to be published in the Autumn. I’ve been working on a stage adaptation of The Spinning Heart and a first draft of a novel from a female perspective.

Colm Tóibín: I am close to finishing a new novel.