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Jonathan (Roger) Coe Biography - Jonathan Coe Comments:

time write tension

My first impulse to write came from the films and television programmes I watched as a child: British film comedies such as Kind Hearts and Coronets and I'm All Right, Jack, and TV sitcoms like Fawlty Towers. At the same time I have a certain yearning towards the high European seriousness of great twentieth-century novelists such as Proust, Mann, and Musil, and my own novels have grown out of the tension between these two very different influences.

Another creative tension arises from my desire to reach a wide readership while remaining convinced that it is the novelist's job to innovate, to take formal risks and always attempt something new. I have never wanted to write historical or escapist fiction: contemporary Britain provides me with my source material.

An off-the-cuff list of all-time favourite writers would include Henry Fielding, Laurence Sterne, Charles Dickens, Dorothy Richardson, Rosamond Lehman, Bohumil Hrabal, Milorad Pavic, Flann O'Brien, and B.S. Johnson.

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