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'When did you know you were a writer?'

15 March 2014

‘The fantasy arrived when I was 13. I was in Reykjavik for a summer and it never got dark. There was a whole library of English books and I was a great reader. I suddenly had access to books that were too hard for me before. Lots of Dickens. Jane Eyre. Wuthering Heights. Jane Austen. I couldn't stop. I read the abridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo. I read some of Mark Twain. While reading David Copperfield in the middle of the night - probably because of the light I had insomnia for the first time - I looked out of the window and thought, "If this is what books can do, this is what I want to do." I published my first poem in the Paris Review in 1980.'

Siri Hustvedt, author of The Blazing World, in The Times