(writing.inspiration) mohammed hanif

One of the highlights of this weekend's Sydney Writers' Festival is Mohammed Hanif. A novelist with a sense of humour - yes, it's possible. And I'm all for encouraging such anomalies. Mohammed's book A case of exploding mangoes was longlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize.

Which five words best describe you? Good intentions. Bad teeth. Restless.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My first job was in Air Force as a trainee fighter pilot. I must have been the worst pilot in the modern aviation history. Then a potato farmer briefly, didn't work out for me. Fashion journalist for a bit then editorial assistant at a political magazine. Then a reporter in Karachi. On the side a couple of theatre plays. Then joined the BBC and moved to London. Still with BBC but now back in Karachi. Currently a full time hack, and occasional writer.
What’s your proudest achievement? Getting a soft boiled egg to perfect consistency.
What’s been your best decision? Quitting flying. That's the main reason I am still alive.
Who inspires you? Day time television. Back pages of newspapers. Left overs in the fridge.
What are you passionate about? Politics and table tennis and telling tales.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Soft Brush. Firm grip.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Truman Capote. Nicole Kidman.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Writing a second novel.
What are you reading? War and Peace. Pakistani newspapers.

Images courtesy of Mohammed Hanif and Random House

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