‘I can’t write books that resolve anything.’ Sarah Hall

‘I can’t write books that resolve anything.’ Sarah Hall

The wolf border is the place where the streetlight ends and the wilderness begins. It represents the divide between man and beast. It’s a subtle separation, unlike our crude, manufactured partitions and political divides.

The wilderness we have is quite complicated. We have modern sheep farming rubbing against nostalgia for the old farming ways. It’s a very good debate to have and it should be had.

In terms of English identity and regional policies, I wanted that land talked about. I didn’t hear it on the level I wanted to. Certain businessmen have a lot of sway and I wanted to look at that and how it fits with our ideas of democracy.

I became the biggest wolf bore. I was reading about them the whole time. I fell in love with them. They occupy a fabled space.

I’m never one to set things in stone. I know I can go back and edit that very messy first draft.

Who’s normal? I like reading about female characters with complicated aspects.

Wolves have very good rules within packs. Humans are seen as the higher species but they fuck up a massive amount!

I think Carhullan Army is the book that divides people. Women would never torture each other to make themselves better soldiers.

I write like… me! I’m from the fells: I’m quite hardy. But to be called a ‘masculine’ writer is quite insulting.

I can’t write books that resolve anything – they’re so fake. There are some characters that are never unmasked.

A novel is more of an investigation. More questions are raised. It’s an inquiry into something.

Sarah Hall is author of The Wolf Border.


From an event at Foyles with Sam Leith

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