Chris Cleave is a British novelist whose latest publication is Gold (Hachette, $36.99).

The book I love most is ... My passport. It's short, at 32 pages, and the style is dry, but it bears the stamps of all the places writing has taken me. When I turn its pages, memories fall out. When researching my novel about refugees, I realised how fortunate we are to hold the passport of a stable nation.

The book I'm reading now is ... The Rider by Tim Krabbe, a strange and wonderful autobiographical novel set largely inside the mind of one cyclist over a single race.

The book I'd like to read next is ... A MONSTER CAME AND OH IT WAS BAD, by my 8-year-old son. All I know about the story is the title, printed in capitals above a lurid illustration of a monster doing to a modern city skyline some stuff which is, undeniably, bad. I'm intrigued, but he won't let me read it until it's finished. I'm also jealous that he gets to do his own illustrations on the front cover of his book.


The book that changed me is ... Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, the first novel to convince me that fiction is a way to express something true and inexpressible in any other artistic medium.

* Chris Cleave will tour New Zealand in August. Go to for more details.