Name: Miranda Sawyer
Book: Out of Time
What’s it about?
‘You wake one day and everything is wrong. It’s as though you went out one warm evening – an evening fizzing with delicious potential, so ripe and sticky-sweet you can taste it on the air – for just one drink … and woke up two days later in a skip. Except you’re not in a skip, you’re in an estate car, on the way to an out-of-town shopping mall to buy a balance bike, a roof rack and some stackable storage boxes.’
Out of Time is not a self-help book. It’s an exploration of this sudden crisis, this jolt. It looks at how our tastes, and our bodies, change as we get older. It considers the unexpected new pleasures that the second half of life can offer, from learning to code to taking up running (slowly). Speaking to musicians and artists, friends and colleagues, Miranda asks how they too have confronted midlife, and the lessons, if any, that they’ve learned along the way.
What others are saying:
‘A straight-talking handbook for those of us who believe we’re still at our peak in middle age but need a few honest signposts’ Viv Albertine
‘I spent a lot of time nodding along in agreement to this book as if it was my favourite record*’ Jeremy Deller *‘Hallelujah’ by Happy Mondays (Weatherall & Oakenfold remix)
What I’m reading: I’m Not With The Band, by Sylvia Paterson; Poo Bum, by Stephanie Blake
What I’m listening to: You Must Remember This podcast; John Grant; Akala
What I’m watching: The Euros; Wild Things
Favourite word(s): Stroppy.
Favourite song: Can’t choose, but I am very fond of If You Want Me To Stay by Sly Stone
Your hero – literary or otherwise: David Bowie. Lisa Simpson. Nadia Comaneci
The book you wish you’d written/The book that everyone should read: Any by Hilary Mantel, Joan Didion or James Ellroy
Writing ritual: Drink coffee. Block internet. Have deadline.
Best advice ever received: Commit and then see what happens
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be? Fewer rewards for shouty politicking, more for small kind action.
Think of something beautiful – could we ask you to describe what you see? Big sky, small people
What’s the most memorable sentence you’ve ever read? I find pop lyrics easier to remember. “There is no map, and a compass doesn’t help at all”: Human Behaviour, Bjork
What would you be doing if you weren’t writing? Browsing second hand shops, visiting art galleries, having a laugh with my kids, reading, chatting, fannying about
Who would play your main character in a film adaptation of your book: As the main character is me, I’ll say Chris Rock. I love Chris Rock
Where best do you write? I can write anywhere, but I’m fond of cheap cafes where they play the radio