10 questions with... Sarah Perry

Sarah Perry. Photo: Jamie Drew.

Sarah Perry. Photo: Jamie Drew.

James Drew 2016

Each week we put a Norwich resident in the hot seat and ask them ten questions about themselves. This week we spoke with writer Sarah Perry, whose novel, The Essex Serpent recently won Waterstones Book of the Year award.

Describe Norwich in three words...

World’s Greatest Place (I am completely serious, by the way).

If you were stranded on a deserted island with three people, who would you want them to be?

My husband (because I’d miss him); my sister Rebekah (she has a very level head, which I most certainly don’t); and Ray Mears (for survival purposes).

If you could be anyone else (real or fictional) who would you be?

Sherlock Holmes.

How would you spend a perfect weekend in Norwich?

On the Saturday, brunch at Frank’s with two Bloody Mary’s and a tipsy game of Trivial Pursuit, followed by a film at Cinema City (nothing too arty, thanks), and thence to Shiki Bento for indecent quantities of Japanese food. This we would walk off the following morning with a stout hike up to Mousehold Heath and back. The fridge would be full of treats from the Jarrolds deli for lunch, after which we’d head into town to buy books at the Book Hive, fuelled by coffee from the Red Roaster. Ideally, we would be able to fit in a trip to the Castle Museum to look at the taxidermy rooms. I absolutely love the Hollywood Cinema at Anglia Square - it might even be, secretly, my favourite place in town - so we’d indulge in another film that evening, popping into Aladdin’s Cave on the way to look at vintage frocks and jewellery.

Would you rather spend a night in front of the TV or a night out in the city?

Night in, I’m afraid. Occasionally we find ourselves out past 10pm and it is always a source of shock and amazement.

What’s your mantra in life?

In the words of our very own Julian, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”

Which song defines your life?

The hymn “Amazing Grace”.

What’s your biggest fear?

I have absolutely no idea why, but I am terrified of walking downhill. Always have been.

Which one thing could you never be without?

I always wear a gold pendant inscribed with the word “Grace” in New Testament Greek.

What would you do if you won the lottery?

I would buy the derelict old Magpie pub on Magpie Road, and do it up into a glorious retreat for writers who can’t afford to take time out to work. Anyone would be able to come and stay on a “pay what you can” basis, and there would be a communal area for writers to get together and talk about their work or just to have a good old whinge.

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