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'Experiences that I have had'

24 July 2006

'A novel has an energy of its own. In that sense, it is like riding a horse. It talks back to you. It isn't always transient. Sometimes, you wrestle with it. I think of my novel as experiences that I have had, not as things that have accrued to me. It's nice if they boost your status or your income, but they are about pleasure primarily. The pleasure is in the form itself. With a horse, even if you have had a bad ride, you want to get back on because it is so interesting. Same with novels.'

Jane Smiley, author of 13 Ways of Looking at a Novel and Horse Heaven in the Observer