Emma Jane Unsworth – ‘Why do we do the things we do to each other?’ (Interview) – ‘In The Red 14’

‘JR: In terms of giving it away to the

publishers there is also that sense of giving

it away to a reader and it becoming theirs.

How did you deal with that? I imagine at a

point you’d have to let go, in a sense, and

the book becomes other people’s? How was

that for you?


EJU: I love the thought of other people

reading it. Of course, because I guess that’s

what we all want. I love it when readers get

in touch and say what they thought about

certain parts of it. I don’t know what I really

think about the fact you ever really give your

book up entirely. You know, the whole ‘death

of the author’ Roland Barthes thing. I’m

not sure I believe that. Whether that’s just

because the kind of fiction I write almost

sometimes feels like it’s verging on auto-fiction

or semi-autobiographical fiction. Which might

not be fiction? I don’t know. Boundaries

are blurring in a really interesting way at

the moment and we’ve seen lots of genres

coming together. I think there’s a huge trend

for semi-autobiographical fiction and there

are lots of big questions being asked about

what constitutes fiction and what constitutes

non-fiction. I think things are changing on

that front. I think that I don’t ever quite hand

over [my book]. I do a bit but I’ve still got my

fingernails on the edge. Whoever’s reading it,

wherever you are, feel my fingernails on the

edge, tugging.’


Emma Jane Unsworth was interviewed for In The Red 14, published in May 2016. 

You can read the full interview here.

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