From Russia With Love

  Written for The Guardian:   In the weeks before our lives changed for ever, my grandfather disappeared and my grandmother became seriously ill. We drove the length of the country through snow and ice to fetch her. Already much reduced by arthritis, she could walk only with great difficulty. She would be staying in…

How Does it Feel?

For The Sunday Times: All childhoods are normal to the children who live them. Back in the 1980s, my siblings and I would arrive at places en masse and not understand the bemused expressions of onlookers as we continued to get out of a trusty old wagon for several minutes longer than seemed reasonable. Of…

The Guardian Interview

by Anita Sethi For The Guardian: Full article here. When Edward Docx was 13 years old, his grandmother lay on her deathbed at the family home in Greater Manchester and made a startling revelation to his mother, Lila – they weren’t related by blood. Docx’s mum was dumbfounded but, as if that were not enough,…

Q & A with The Guardian

  This Q & A first appeared here in The Guardian:   How did you come to write The Devil’s Garden? Some years ago, I stayed on a river station on the Amazon with some very odd people. Later, in one of the river towns, a woman told me a story about an anthropologist who disappeared…

A Simple Love Story

  For The Times on Bob Dylan’s 65th birthday:   ‘Yes,’ he said. ‘You can see it that way – like a train track. Or maybe a journey on a train track. I guess it does make a certain sort of sense.’ He shrugged. ‘Or at least we could see it that way for a…

How to write a novel in 40 words

  In 2012, Picador celebrated its 40th birthday with the publication of The Picador Book of Forty, a collection of essays and stories by Picador authors on the theme of the number forty. In this essay, Edward Docx, author of Self Help and The Devil’s Garden, sums up his favourite novels in a mere forty words.  1. The Great Gatsby, F.…

Q & A at Hay

  1. How did you research the Devil’s Garden? Do you feel that visiting a place you are writing about is crucial for an author? Personally, I find that there is no substitute for going to a place if you want to write about it. The word ‘author’ is quite close to the word ‘authenticity’…

A conversation: Ten Questions with Edward Docx

In Conversation with Picador:   1. Can you summarise The Devil’s Garden in fifty words? It is about love and corruption and ancient tribes and violence and grief and sex and science and religion and ants and anthropology and the clash between the individual and the big opposing forces of the twenty-first century. Most of all it’s about…

Top 10 Deranged Characters

  This first appeared in The Guardian: Edward Docx’s first novel, The Calligrapher, was published to widespread acclaim in 2003 and has now been translated into eight languages. His second novel, Self Help, published in 2007, was longlisted for the Man Booker prize and went on to win The Geoffrey Faber prize. In 2003 and…

How I write

Written for Time Out Magazine in 2007 Imagine you are the best prison guard in the world. Undisputed number one. Entertained by the Blairs, the Beckhams and Antonio Banderas alike; a chess grand master, a boxer – ex-pro (three belts); kind as the mistletoe fairy, mean as a yoga teacher on the make, dignified as…