Chris Cleave

Chris Cleave was born in London and spent his early years in Cameroon. He studied experimental psychology at Balliol College, Oxford. His debut novel, INCENDIARY, won a 2006 Somerset Maugham Award, was shortlisted for the 2006 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and is now a feature film. His second novel, LITTLE BEE, is a New York Times #1 bestseller with over 2 million copies in print. GOLD is his third novel. He lives in London with his wife and three children. Chris Cleave enjoys dialogue with his readers and invites all comers to introduce themselves on Twitter; he can be found at or on his website at http://www.chriscleave.comQ & AWhat was your favourite childhood book?The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by CS LewisWhich book has made you laugh?Great Lies to Tell Small Kids by Andy Riley Which book has made you cry?The Road by Cormac McCarthyWhat are your top five books of all time, in order or otherwise?Mrs. Dalloway (Woolf) Germinal (Zola) Voyage au Bout de la Nuit (Céline)The Road (McCarthy) 100 Years of Solitude (Garcia Márquez)What is your favourite word?"Nooba". It's a word peculiar to my family, although I can't remember where it came from or which of my kids coined it. To "do the nooba" is to muck around when you're supposed to be going to sleep. As in, "Stop doing the nooba, boo-boo, it's way past your bedtime." I like it because you can only say it with a smile.Which fictional character would you most like to have met?Sally Seton, Clarissa Dalloway's childhood companion, when we were all young.Is there a particular book or author that inspired you to be a writer?Definitely. In my teens it was Milan Kundera who made me realise how exciting it would be to write, and Primo Levi who made me realise how important it was, and Tibor Fischer who made me suspect the whole thing would be fun.
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