Owen Marshall is one of New Zealand's leading fiction writers. His latest novel is The Larnachs (Vintage, $39.99).
The book I love most is ... Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen. What wit and exact turn of phrase, what penetrating insight into human nature, what a detailed and compelling vision of a way of living long gone.
The book I'm reading now is ... Storyteller: The Life of Roald Dahl, by Donald Sturrock. A substantial 655-page account of the hugely successful, but flawed, children's writer. As Dahl rewrote and retold his rich personal history with imaginative gusto, biographers have a difficult task separating fact from fiction, but it makes for interesting reading.
The book I'd like to read next is ... Vincent O'Sullivan's new book of poetry, [anything] by William Trevor, Alice Munro or Annie Proulx.
My favourite bookshop is ... Unity Books in Wellington.
The book that changed me is ... I can think of no book that was life-changing, but I do recall real pleasure and admiration when, as a university student, I came across the work of the English writer H.E.
Bates. The contemporary novel that most impresses me is Ian McEwan's Enduring Love.
The book I wish I'd never read is ... Literary merit is notoriously subjective ... I don't wish to publicly record those I have flung against the wall.