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Playing: Piano Concerto no.14 in E flat major, K.449 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
BBC Radio 3

 

The first thing I noticed about my guest Douglas Kennedy was how energetic and fresh he seemed...could it be true that he had just flown in from America? Here is a person who really knows how to travel, I thought, and he clearly has it down to a fine art. Douglas told me he had slept soundly during his flight: that's the secret, and I admired him for managing to drop off in those slightly surreal circumstances (being surrounded by other people, all wrapped in light acrylic blankets, 35,000 feet up in the air, etc.). He tackled the interview with great relish - so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the music, so happy to share his experiences of life. He seemed delighted that I'd enjoyed his novel, Five Days, about a brief and life-changing affair. Relationships seem to lie at the heart of his work, and he often writes from the woman's point of view - completely convincingly. We talked about that, and about his desire to create books that are "popular serious novels" or "serious popular novels" - both sides being equally important. And he was very candid about how he's dealt with various ups and downs in both life and work. I left the studio wondering if Douglas Kennedy's novels could ultimately take the place of self-help books...they're certainly not short of solace and sound advice for the troubled heart.

 

Douglas has commented on his Essential Classic interview with Sarah on his Facebook page. You can read his thoughts at:

https://www.facebook.com/bbcradio3#!/DouglasKennedyBooks

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