The Spectator

Shelf Life: Tamsin Greig

Shelf Life: Tamsin Greig
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Tamsin Greig is so busy at the moment that Debbie Aldridge, the character she plays in The Archers, has to spend most of her time in Hungary. Star of TV shows like Black Books, Green Wing and Episodes, Tamsin Greig is also an accomplished stage actress and is about to reprise her role in Jumpy at The Duke of York in the West End. She tells us about her love for Seamus Heaney and Jackie Magazine.

1) What are you reading at the moment?     

Under The Same Stars by Tim Lott and Collected Poems by Wendy Cope

2) As a child, what did you read under the covers?

Jackie magazine

3) Has a book ever made you cry, and if so which one?

 The Road by Cormac McCarthy

4) You are about to be put into solitary confinement for a year and allowed to take three books. What would you choose?

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens

Wild Swans by Jung Chang, because it’s been on my shelf since it was published and is still frustratingly unread

5) Which literary character would you most like to sleep with?


6) If you could write a self-help book, what would you call it?

'Fail Again, Fail Better'

7) Michael Gove has asked you to rewrite the GCSE english literature syllabus. Which book, which play, and which poem would you make compulsory reading?

August, Osage County by Tracy Letts

A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving

Postscript by Seamus Heaney

8) Which party from literature would you most like to have attended?

The ball in Emma when Emma finally realises she is in love with Mr. Knightley

9) What would you title your memoirs?

'Bird of Comic Solemnity'

10) Which literary character do you dream of playing?

Anna Karenina

11) What book would you give to a lover?

The Spirit Level by Seamus Heaney

12) Spying Mein Kampf or Dan Brown on someone's bookshelf can spell havoc for a friendship. what's your literary dealbreaker?

The Complete Works of Jeffrey Archer