Kamila Shamsie gave a class on writing the unfamiliar at Somerset House.
- Writing has to be about discovery – don’t limit your ideas of what you’re allowed to discover.
- Keep in mind what Colum McCann once said – rather than writing what you know, write towards what you want to know.
- Never underestimate what can be achieved by the combination of research and imagination
- There is no such thing as a singular experience of a place, a time, an event, a gender. Think about how your characters live through what is happening to them rather than attempting to write the definitive account of any experience.
The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje
The Hired Man – Aminatta Forna
Ice Road – Gillian Slovo
The Wasted Vigil – Nadeem Aslam
In the Orchard, the Swallows – Peter Hobbs