(From The New York Times, 12/24; via Pam Green.)

The playwright and author of the memoir “The Blue Touch Paper” was once the literary manager of the Royal Court Theater: “I was in charge of reading over a thousand plays a year. I can never read a play again

What books are currently on your night stand?

“Stalin’s Englishman,” by Andrew Lownie; “The Little Red Chairs,” by Edna O’Brien; “All That I Am,” by Anna Funder; “Forensics,” by Val McDermid.

What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year?

“Dirty Snow,” by Georges Simenon.

Which writers — novelists, playwrights, critics, journalists, poets — working today do you admire most?

I love what Kipling said: “There can be neither first nor last in the kingdom — for it is not a republic — of letters.” However, I will always want to hear from Joan Didion, Philip Roth, Wallace Shawn, Janet Malcolm, Jonathan Franzen and Zoë Heller. I buy everything they write.


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