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24 September 2014

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Scarlett Thomas

Scarlett Thomas

The cult novelist published her first book aged just 26, and nearly 10 years later she's got 7 under her belt and an army of admirers. She's now made Canterbury her home, and used it as the setting for some mysterious goings-on

"All those vile women in the chick-lit books"

The heroines of Scarlett's books are unconventional, independent girls, more likely to be thinking about cryptography or video games than the latest fashions or hairstyles.  Here, she talks about rebelling against "women's fiction", and being pigeonholed as a "female author".

WATCH: CLIP 1

Title: Female readers and writers

"The cathedral is something I'm increasingly obsessed with"

Her latest book, The End of Mr. Y, is a thriller about a rare book reputed to bring death to whoever reads it.  Along the way, Scarlett manages to throw in some homoeopathy, semiotics, a secret government agency, and the god of mice.  Holding it all together is her vision of Canterbury: a shadowy city where mysterious things can happen.

WATCH: CLIP 2

Title: Life in Kent

"Scarlett … Steve isn't your father."

Families play an important part in many of Scarlett's books.  The heroine of her latest book has only a distant relationship with her parents, and in 2004's PopCo, it's grandparents that play a vital role.  Here Scarlett discusses her own family background and its influence on her writing.

WATCH: CLIP 3

Title: Families, in life and fiction

"Tell them to **** off, I'm not changing the book"

The ending of The End of Mr. Y has got readers talking.  The ending of PopCo was originally written specifically for the American market.  Sometimes, artistic integrity can come up against commercial pressure from the wider publishing world…

WATCH: CLIP 4

Title: Dealing with Endings

last updated: 24/10/07

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