William Boyd: Prizewinning Author of A Good Man in Africa


Litro Q&A: William Boyd

We at Litro were delighted to put our questions to acclaimed, bestselling and prize-winning writer William Boyd – author of A Good Man in Africa, Any Human Heart and Restless, to name but a few. Read on to discover his favourite book, current reading material and advice for inspiring writers.

What is your earliest childhood memory?

Standing on the veranda of our house in Signals Road, Achimota, Ghana.

What makes you happy?

The good health of my loved ones.

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

Around about the age of 18.

What are you reading at the moment?

The Selected Poems of the late Mick Imlah.

What advice will give to a first time writer?

Be prepared to use up all your reserves of stamina.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?


How do you relax?

Drink wine.

What is your favourite book?

The Collected Stories of Anton Chekhov.

What is the most important thing life has taught you?

Everything is governed by luck — good luck and bad luck.  Advance with caution.

What are you up to at the moment?

Writing a new novel. My eleventh.

William Boyd has received world-wide acclaim for his novels. They are: A Good Man in Africa (1981, winner of the Whitbread Award and the Somerset Maugham Prize) An Ice Cream War (1982, shortlisted for the 1982 Booker Prize and winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), Stars and Bars (1984), The New Confessions (1987), Brazzaville Beach (1990, winner of the McVitie Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize) The Blue Afternoon (1993, winner of the 1993 Sunday Express Book of the Year Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Fiction, 1995), Armadillo (1998) and Any Human Heart (2002, winner of the Prix Jean Monnet). His novels and stories have been published around the world and have been translated into over thirty languages.  He is also the author of a collection of screenplays and a memoir of his schooldays, School Ties (1985); three collections of short stories: On the Yankee Station (1981), The Destiny of Nathalie ‘X’ (1995) and Fascination (2004). He also wrote the speculative memoir Nat Tate: an American Artist. His ninth novel, Restless, was published in September 2006 (Costa Book Award, Novel of the Year 2006). He is working on his eleventh.


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