QDescribe your favourite writing space.Ideally my own room, and sometimes certain libraries.
QDo you have a writing schedule?Unfortunately not.
QEver struggled with writer’s block?I’ve struggled with laziness, with the inability to stay focused, but not really with writer’s block. I think it’s a phenomenon that’s rare in non-fiction work.
QWhat inspires you to write? Do you have a secret trick, or a book/author that helps?The idea that one day one might actually write something genuinely meaningful.
QCoffee/tea/cigarettes — numbers please — while you are writing?Actually an obscene amount of water.
QWhich books are you reading at present?André Béteille’s new book, Democracy and its Institutions, and Michael Wood’s Film: A Very Short Introduction.
QWho are your favourite authors?In fiction, Gabriel García Márquez, by a long, long way.
QWhich book/author should be banned on grounds of bad taste?Anyone who writes a memoir on the presumption that his or her life is of general interest.
QWhich is the most under-rated book?The volumes that comprise the Constituent Assembly debates, which contain extensive reflections over three remarkable years, 1946-1949, on the many ideas of India.
QWhich are your favourite children’s books?The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé, and anything by Enid Blyton.