Lewis Roland

Adam Thirlwell is a British author and literary scholar. He gained recognition for his innovative and stylistically experimental writing. His debut novel, "Politics," was published in 2003 and was acclaimed for its unique narrative techniques. Thirlwell's works often explore themes of language, identity, and the complexities of human relationships. His writing style blends humour, introspection, and linguistic playfulness. In addition to his novels, he has also contributed essays and criticism to various publications.

What books are on your bedside table?

Emmanuel Bove’s My Friends, Deborah Levy’s August Blue, Susan Taubes’s Divorcing, and a book of photos by Saul Leiter. 

Which book or author do you always return to?

Gertrude Stein’s Autobiography of Alice B Toklas    

What kind of reader were you as a child?

At first I only wanted stories of travel as far away as possible: in oceans and jungles. Then it was myths from Greece and Rome and the 1001 Nights. Then I only wanted to read autobiographies of footballers. Then at about 12 I discovered that all I wanted was poetry. In other words, I was always voracious and highly mobile.  

When working on a new project, how do you sift through competing ideas in order to move forward?

With great difficulty; with an improvised system of different notepads and cards and pens and coloured pencils; with anxious and constantly revised instinct.  

What writing habit do you have that is impossible to shift? (e.g. a particular snack, writing hours, location, caffeine consumption etc.)

I always need espresso. And with an eight-year-old daughter, my basic habit is now to work whenever she’s not in the house… 

The international literature festival berlin (ilb) has become essential to Berlin’s literary calendar. What do you connect with the city?

So much! I once lived here for a whole summer, while teaching a masterclass at the Freie Universität, as well as coming on many other short visits. I love its forests, its lakes, its strangely expanded spaces; but most of all the writers and filmmakers I feel close to: Walter Benjamin, Fritz Lang, poor Rosa Luxemburg.