PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog
Next Issue Kei Miller Sometimes I Consider the Names of Places Kyoo Lee's A Close Up and Marjorie Perloff's response John McAuliffe City of Trees Don Share on Whitman's Bicentenary Jeffrey Wainwright and Jon Glover on Geoffrey Hill's Gnostic

This interview is taken from PN Review 182, Volume 34 Number 6, July - August 2008.

In Conversation with John Fuller Andrew McNeillie


ANDREW MCNEILLIE: Let's dive in at the deep-end straight away. I always feel that you don't belong anywhere, not even in Oxford. Tell me about places and not belonging.


JOHN FULLER: What is belonging? It sounds too much like longing to be somewhere where one hasn't been quite welcome to be a comfortable thing. Perhaps it's because most of us feel uprooted now, is it? By ancestry I am a Yorkshireman (I trace myself back to wool carders and farriers) but was soon enough a sort of Londoner. But I was displaced very early on, by the war. If I originally belonged anywhere it was in my grandmother's house in Blackpool. I have written about that (albeit very heavily fictionalised) in my novel The Burning Boys. Since I went to a London boarding school in the late 1940s and from there to the RAF for National Service, my displacement was severely extended. I don't think I ever much liked London. Oxford after forty years suits me very well as a city of the right size, but my adopted places have needed mountain heights and fastnesses close to a mysterious and liberating sea. I have written most freely and happily in Wales and Corsica. I'm sure that you as a multiple Celt understand that very well. It's needing the green world, and admiring local traditions and independence, and it's closing in on family and quietness, that sort of thing. But I get ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image