Anakana Schofield interview: ‘My only aspiration is my coffin is not plywood’

‘I feel very Irish because I am noisy, have a major talent for affront and I am very pious but as a writer I was made in Canada. It gave me opportunities and courage to write’

Anakana Schfield on Martin John: “The novel is deliberately circular, punctuated throughout by five recurring refrains. It is constructed this way to speak to the cyclical nature of reoffending, the cycles of mental illness and the cycle of complicity.” Photograph: Arabella Campbell

Anakana Schfield on Martin John: “The novel is deliberately circular, punctuated throughout by five recurring refrains. It is constructed this way to speak to the cyclical nature of reoffending, the cycles of mental illness and the cycle of complicity.” Photograph: Arabella Campbell

You were born in England, lived in London and Dublin but have settled now in Canada. Could you tell us a little about that?

I was born in England to an Irish mother and a Northern English father. I grew up in an Irish diaspora there and spent time throughout my childhood down in Mayo where my granny and extended family lived. I later lived in Dublin for many years before I shifted to Vancouver, Canada. I feel fortunate to have been exposed as a child to the cosmopolitan and hence diversity, along with rural Ireland and its very particular language and excessive volume of wind!

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