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Author Archive: "Jonathan Coe"

Powell’s Q&A: Jonathan Coe

Describe your latest book.
My latest book is a novel called The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim. It takes as its starting point some of the new ways of communicating with each other that technology now allows us — texting, social networking, talking to the voice on your GPS — but in fact it is not "about" any of those things. It is about our quest to find the greatest fulfillment in the world — intimacy with another human being — and the kind of self-knowledge you need in order to be ready for that. My previous novel was rather serious, but this time I have decided to go down the comic route, exploring this theme through the story of a salesman who is sent alone on a doomed mission from one end of the U.K. to the other by car, as part of a misguided marketing campaign. This mission becomes a journey into his own past, at the end of which he is forced to confront secrets about himself that he has been avoiding. Ultimately the novel ...

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