Until he was 13, Edward Docx thought he was part Indian. Then a confession by his ailing grandmother revealed she wasn’t his grandmother - and he was in fact part Russian.
This unexpected revelation informs Self Help (published as Pravda in the US), the story of a pair of twins’ search for the truth about their family. It also informs Docx’s belief that to be a writer means: ‘To give precise and enduring expression to the human experience’. His grandmother’s disclosure was useful for the novelist since: ‘It started me questioning whether you can ever rely upon anything being true.’ The cultural figure he has relied on most is Bob Dylan, and at the launch party for Self Help, rather than give a speech, he fronted a band playing Dylan covers.