With the International Man Booker ceremony just around the corner, we chatted to shortlisted author Antonio Muñoz Molina about the books he's reading, the best way to spend a day in Lisbon and Like a Fading Shadow

What are you reading at the moment?

I love to cast a wide net when reading. I have just finished Robin Lane Fox 's Augustine, which I've found absorbing yet somewhat exhausting, and now I am halfway through a wonderful novel by Eca de Queiroz, O Crime do Padre Amaro. And I am still under the effect of edna O'Brien's Country Girls trilogy.

Can you recommend us a book by another Spanish author?

I'd recommend Noches sin dormir, a poignant New York memoir by Elvira Lindo. She happens to be my wife, but she's a poweful and original writer all the same.

Where in your city is the best place for reading?

A bench in the El Retiro Park in Madrid. In Lisbon, am armchair by a window at my apartment.

We’ve got 24 hours in Lisbon. What are the top three things we should do?

Go see Bosch's S. Antony's tryptic at the Museu de Arte Antiga. Have lunch - arroz de marisco - at Solar dos Presuntos. Take a walk westward from Commerce Square all the way to the 25 de abril bridge, along the river bank and the quays.

Like a Fading Shadow blends fiction with memoir and reportage, following two very different journeys in Lisbon. Did you intend to work in multiple genres or did this happen gradually as the writing developed?

At first I just made it up as I went along. Then I found the only way I had to tell the story was to do it through a mix of deep research and personal confession. I had to tell a story and at the same time to dwell on the mystery of where stories come from, and why we are bound to tell them.


The winner of the International Man Booker Prize is announced on 22 May 2018