Monday, August 17, 2009

A room of one's own

Writers are generally solitary creatures, spending most of their time alone in a room, decanting the products of their fertile imaginations into computers, and from there to the printed page. Their rooms are their places of power, shaped to meet their needs, so any glimpse into a writer's room seems like a glimpse into a part of their creativity.

The Guardian have been running a feature called Writers' Rooms since the beginning of 2007, with individual writers talking about where they write, accompanied by a photograph. Here's award-winning Irish writer Sebastian Barry's piece, along with this photograph:


"It doesn't look very tidy, but from childhood I have loved provisionality in a room, something thrown together, as indeed the bookcase on the right was, in the first days after coming here 10 years ago. ... The plain inkwell I dug up in the garden, which seemed an apt thing to find. There's stuff in boxes waiting to go off to the Harry Ransom Center in Texas sometime. The chair was sold to Ali years ago in a Dublin shop. The man swore it was "genuine Georgeen" and it may well be."

Meanwhile, photographer and Who Killed Amanda Palmer? contributor Kyle Cassidy has been taking photographs of Fantasy & Science Fiction writers in their workplaces for a forthcoming book called Where I Write: Fantasy & Science Fiction Authors in Their Creative Spaces. You can see some of the photographs here, including this bird's-eye view of Samuel R Delany:

Given the choice between the two, I'd have to say I much prefer to see the writer in the photograph, rather than not. It's the writer who gives the room its meaning and purpose, after all.



  1. It's all over now, though:

  2. Nice post, it's nice to see where the magic happens so to speak :)