Episode 26 - Anna Smaill: Part 2


In part two of This Writing Life's podcast with Anna Smaill, we negotiate photographers, noises in RIBA and publicists to discuss her soon-to-be Man Booker longlisted debut novel, The Chimes.

We began by talking about the taunting idea of the 'genius' and the tragedy of falling short. After mocking This Writing Life's mobile phone, Smaill then moved on to:

  • the glories and downsides of genius
  • 'I should probably say, I never actually thought I was a genius'
  • did The Chimes address Smaill's own musical background?
  • from Young Adult to something else: the writing process of The Chimes
  • hearing the voice of her hero, Simon
  • what Simon and Smaill have in common
  • what was the challenge of writing fiction
  • 'That sense of mystery animated it throughout'
  • the (quasi-pseudo ) inspiration for 'Onestory', music as a form of social control
  • Vladimir Gavreau, Infrasound and sonic weaponary
  • music and control in Tokyo
  • chaos, order and the problems of being an individual
  • leaving home and Smaill's return to New Zealand
  • New Zealand and the Man Booker: Hulme and Catton
  • Eleanor Catton and controversy
  • the state of the arts in New Zealand
  • can a novel set in New Zealand break out internationally
  • living with a novelist - Smaill on her husband, the writer Carl Shuker
  • the future

Read Anna Smaill on her Man Booker nomination: here.

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