Jonathan Coe visited Nottingham recently to introduce the film Dead of Night (1945) and to discuss his new book, Number 11. He kindly spared me a few minutes to talk to him before the show. This is a transcript of our conversation, which I recorded (the recording itself can be be listened to below). I’ve made some minor changes here and there for clarity.
Jonathan Coe and Jack Messenger at the book signing for Number 11 after a screening of Dead of Night at the Broadway Cinema, Nottingham.
Jonathan Coe’s eleventh novel is a metafictional labyrinth of allusions and connections to films, literary works and his own previous books (notably, What a Carve Up!), and another of his polymorphous ‘state of the nation’ addresses. It is a work of enormous confidence, audacity and inventiveness that takes the reader on an intriguing journey from past to present, from Birmingham via Beverley in Yorkshire to Australia and South Africa and London, from innocence to something very dark indeed. Continue reading