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Conversations with John Banville

Conversations with John Banville

Edited by Earl G. Ingersoll & John Cusatis
Series: Literary Conversations Series

Hardcover : 9781496828750, 238 pages, April 2020
Paperback : 9781496828767, 238 pages, April 2020

Collected interviews with the author of Long Lankin, Mrs. Osmond, and The Sea, the last of which won the Man Booker Prize


John Banville (b. 1945) is a distinguished novelist and winner of several prestigious awards, including the Man Booker Prize for his novel The Sea. As a teenager Banville hoped to be a painter, and although he ultimately decided he lacked the talent for it, his passion for painting continues to influence and inform his work. Banville conceives the novel as a work of art aimed not at the present, but for the ages. He aspires to create narratives that offer readers a sense of what it is to be conscious, human, and feeling, and aims to convey his conviction that “the familiar is always unfamiliar, the ordinary extraordinary. ”

Conversations with John Banville is the first interview collection with this esteemed writer and includes eighteen interviews that reflect on nearly five decades of work, from his first book, Long Lankin, to his novel Mrs. Osmond and memoir, Time Pieces. The collection also includes discussions about—and with, in the case of James Gleick’s 2014 interview—Banville’s alter ego, Benjamin Black, who writes crime novels. Highly engaging and insightful, Banville’s interviews offer a variety of writerly autobiography regarding what he has aimed to do in his work and how he continues to pursue perfection, which he has known from the beginning must be impossible.