‘JR: In terms of giving it away to the
publishers there is also that sense of giving
it away to a reader and it becoming theirs.
How did you deal with that? I imagine at a
point you’d have to let go, in a sense, and
the book becomes other people’s? How was
that for you?
EJU: I love the thought of other people
reading it. Of course, because I guess that’s
what we all want. I love it when readers get
in touch and say what they thought about
certain parts of it. I don’t know what I really
think about the fact you ever really give your
book up entirely. You know, the whole ‘death
of the author’ Roland Barthes thing. I’m
not sure I believe that. Whether that’s just
because the kind of fiction I write almost
sometimes feels like it’s verging on auto-fiction
or semi-autobiographical fiction. Which might
not be fiction? I don’t know. Boundaries
are blurring in a really interesting way at
the moment and we’ve seen lots of genres
coming together. I think there’s a huge trend
for semi-autobiographical fiction and there
are lots of big questions being asked about
what constitutes fiction and what constitutes
non-fiction. I think things are changing on
that front. I think that I don’t ever quite hand
over [my book]. I do a bit but I’ve still got my
fingernails on the edge. Whoever’s reading it,
wherever you are, feel my fingernails on the
Emma Jane Unsworth was interviewed for In The Red 14, published in May 2016.
You can read the full interview here.