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Lawson asked some pretty probing/challenging questions, didn't he? (Which you answered with a great amount of grace and good humour methought). He has the gift of making those sorts of questions sound politely benign though; a great skill.


It was a really fun interview to record, actually - I definitely didn't feel attacked, and I loved that we could go wider than Talking About The Novel. As you can probably tell from this piece, I'm much harder on myself while I'm writing than any interviewer/reviewer ever would be. Apart from the JC, obvs.

claire seeber

Hi Naomi

My new novel NEVER TELL, out next week, is also about Oxford but in a rather different vein, I think, it's about a reporter who belonged to the rather decadent SOCIETY X whilst at Oxford, which all ended badly! Perhaps we should get together and do an Oxford 'thing'! Though I have to admit I didn't go there, just imagined and researched. Good luck with yours, I look forward to reading it
all best
Claire Seeber
ps Mark Lawson hasn't interviewed me about this one - yet, she says hopefully and slightly wistfully - but I did do Front Row for the first, Lullaby. He nods a lot doesn't he?! A radio thing, I think!

Sydney fan

Just found your blog and discovered with much excitement that you have a new book out which I have just ordered for myself...your self-interview very funny and poignant! captures so well how hard writers are on themselves. A novel about 'a bunch of over-privileged over-educated youths drinking and taking drugs' sounds great to me - can't wait! I loved Disobedience.

Tom Cunliffe

Penguin sent me a copy of The Lessons. I greatly enjoyed it and have reviewed it on my blog A Common Reader


Congratulations on writing such a fine novel

green ink

Naomi, this is a really clever way of addressing your fears and doubts, I really like it! I'll definitely do the same for myself the next time I feel a bit doubtful and fearful of things people might say about my work!

Going to get Disobedience today, I think :)


Gretchen Rubin's solution - like so many of the best ones - is blissfully simple. And I love what you've done with it. All very enlightening, as have been keenly following the R4 dramatisation of 'The Lessons'; will now add the book to my TBR pile!

Miss Moppet

Hellooo! I've found you. And I've added you to my blogroll (not bogroll which it sounds like).

Deer baby

I am loving, loving, loving The Lessons. It's inspired me so much I've written a blog post. http://deerbaby.blogspot.com/2010/05/observer.html

I read about you in The Guardian and bought the book on the back of that. Congratulations on a fabulous novel - I've not finished yet so I'll come back and read more on this site in case there's any spoilers on here!


Hi Naomi - I really enjoyed your book and am now starting to read Disobedience. The Lessons is a book I related to, the concept of belonging, "friends",being at university, learning to be responsible and knowing when to move on. I'm really glad I read it, it eradicated something that had been like a tumour in my mind for a long time. Thanks and best wishes. Polly


I just finished The Lessons - finished it, then picked it straight back up and have been flicking through and reading bits again. Now that I've discovered your blog I want to say to you - what a brilliant book and thank you for writing it! I'm off to get Disobedience now. (Did you think the traffic would be going the other way?)

And in relation to your nasty readers question about the Catholicism being "tacked on" in the book - having been brought up as a Catholic I think you did a good job at capturing the essential mystery of Catholicism. I mean, I don't think any of us really "get it", we're encouraged stay that way!

Anyway, your book was one of those stay-up-late-to-finish-it-never-mind-the-stinging-eyes experiences for me! Love that!


I've not finished with 'The Lessons' yet (about three quarters through I'd say) but I've been pretty much gripped since the first page and am really glad I chose it as the first book to read for fun this summer (apparently English Lit degrees can make reading a chore - who'd of thunk it?). I think every writer should interview themselves like this - 'Yes mum' made me giggle out loud.


Hi Naomi
I finished The Lessons about 3 minutes ago and immediately found my way here. Still a bit shell-shocked by it. Thank you for James - there's a lesson there for some of us. Loved your book.

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