Published: 9 June, 2011
by DAN CARRIER
DAVID Nicholls had carved a reputation for jolly books. The author of Starter for Ten and the Understudy has also written comedy for TV.
But his latest novel – One Day – is a serious novel. Set around Camden, it has become one of those Zeitgeist books that touches a generation.
The author is due to talk about his work on Wednesday at England’s Lane Books, and he reveals that he has used Thomas Hardy’s work as a starting point for a very moving modern novel.
The book features a 20-year journey of two friends from university, Dexter and Emma. “When I began writing the book I was just about to turn 40,” says David, “and I recalled a conversation I once had at university, where a group of my friends had speculated about what we’d all be doing at the age of 40. That idea – the impossibility of predicting our future – also seemed like an interesting theme. How do we change between 20 and 40? What remains the same?
“Also, my first two novels were comedies, and I wanted to see if I could write something a little more epic in scale, a little more ambitious, something big and emotional, funny and sad.”
• David Nicholls will discuss the runaway success of his novel One Day and his career to date on Wednesday June 15 at England’s Lane Books, 41 England’s Lane, NW3, 7.30pm, £5 including refreshments. Call 0207 586 9764 or email info@ englandslanebooks.co.uk.