When you're researching a book, do you travel alone?
I generally travel alone, but sometimes with my partner, with whom I've lived for forty years. But dearly though I love her, if I'm going to be working I find I'm better on my own. Love is rather inhibiting in my view. We are always thinking about what each other wants to do. Whereas to be writing about a place you've got to be utterly selfish. You've only got to think about the place that you're writing. Your antenna must be out all the time picking up vibrations and details. If you've got somebody with you, especially somebody you're fond of, it doesn't work so well. So, although I never have the heart to tell her this, I would really rather not have her come along.
Jan Morris: The Art of Fiction No. 2, Interviewed by Leo Lerman in Women at Work: Interviews from the Paris Review