Geoff Dyer on Dying Obliviously, But…

Novelist, essayist, and New York Times Book Review columnist Geoff Dyer answers the infamous Litquake Questionnaire. Geoff sent his answers to us while he was in Marrakech—which explains a lot.

Geoff Dyer will appear at Litquake’s Epicenter event on Wednesday, March 14, in conversation with film critic David Thomson. The event begins at 7 pm at North Beach’s famed Tosca Café . This will be Dyer’s only Bay Area appearance for his newest book, Zona.

Dyer, Geoff1. What is your favorite book?

The Names by Don DeLillo

2. Who is your favorite writer?

John Berger

3. If the answers to 1 & 2 are different, why?

Berger’s output is so varied.

4. How old were you when you were first published?


5. What writing style do you most abhor?

There are too many to mention.

6. What is your favorite writing cliché?

‘On the one hand’

7. What is your favorite word?


8. When and how do you write? (typewriter, Mac, in a café, for four hours each morning, etc?)

Mac, never in public, for as long as I can bear to (about ten minutes).

9. What is your greatest fear when you first turn in a manuscript?

Don’t really have any.

10. In what era do you wish you’d been born?

Fifteen years earlier so I could have heard Coltrane.

11. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?


12. Which talent would you most like to have?

To play a musical instrument

13. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Three grade A A-levels.

14. Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

Jude the Obscure

15. How would you like to die?