Susan Barker

Susan Barker
Susan Barker
  • Born: June 26, 1978
  • Nationality: British
  • Profession: Novelist

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During the six years I spent writing my novel 'The Incarnations,' I lived in seven cities in four countries. I moved in and out of 17 different houses and flats in Beijing, Seoul, Colorado, Boston, Leeds, Washington D.C., London and Shenzhen.
I feel uninhibited when I'm writing.
I wrote in coffee shops in Japan when I was 22, 23, before I had the stamina to sit down and write. I liked the buzzy environment; I couldn't speak Japanese when I arrived, so it was kind of a white noise. It felt more sociable than being alone, but now, as I've developed a writing practice, I couldn't do it.
It would be unthinkable to have a top-ten list of multiple narrative novels that doesn't include David Mitchell. 'Cloud Atlas' is the most obvious choice, but I have opted for Mitchell's slightly lesser known debut, 'Ghostwritten.'
Most of 'Let the Great World Spin' is centered on the day in 1974 when Philippe Petit walked on a tightrope between the two towers of the World Trade Center, creating an astonishing spectacle that intersects with the lives of many of the novel's multiple protagonists.
My grandfather was originally from the south of China before he emigrated to Malaysia pre-World War II. And I wanted to learn more about the history of the country of my ancestors. I knew I wanted a narrative set in contemporary Beijing. I was really interested in the effect of the rapid social and economic change on ordinary citizens in China. History ;War & Peace
My process for determining which eras I'd write about was to just read history books that gave a really broad overview of Chinese history. And when I came across a historical figure or a historical incident that was especially interesting to me, ideas for characters and stories would surface. History
There are many reasons I love novels with multiple narratives. In novels where the events are filtered through the consciousness of a single 'reliable' narrator, I often wonder, is this the whole story? What could be missing here? Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Truth is often a multiplicity of perspectives, and sometimes the more viewpoints and versions of events there are, the closer the reader gets to an overarching truth. Truth
You know, you hear about these writers reading 'Lolita' at 12. I wanted to be a chemistry teacher. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training