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This interview is taken from PN Review 46, Volume 12 Number 2, November - December 1985.

in Conversation with Norman Nicholson David Wright

David Wright - You were born in this house in Millom, and in the opening chapter of your autobiography, 'Wednesday Early Closing', you remark, 'I feel that I have lived at this address since before I was born.' What did you mean by that?

Norman Nicholson - My father moved into this house about 1903, eighty years ago. I was born ten years later. To a certain extent I feel it had been my home for ten years before I was born. The street was built about 1880 - a street of bow-windowed houses and little tiny gardens, as the outer suburb of a small growing town. But very quickly, I think within ten years of having been built, half the houses had been changed into shops. And I feel that I've come into this street, which was changing as the town changed, as the town developed, as the era changed, that in a way I've lived in this house since it was built.

In the same chapter you also say, 'It's not just that the past persists into the present: the present pushes back the past.' Your grandparents came to Millom in 1867 when the town was just beginning to be built round the new ironworks, which were dismantled only a few years ago. So what with your grandparents' reminiscences and the seventy years you have lived in Millom, you have been a witness to the rise and decline of ...

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