Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes. Credit: Alamy

“Julian Barnes is a month out. There has been an innocent mix-up with our interview and I am waiting in a pub near his north London home while he is out for a walk and expecting to see me a month later. Even worse, I can’t let him know. Barnes doesn’t carry a mobile phone — although this does neatly explain how the 76-year-old has written 14 novels, three short-story collections, four detective novels and eight non-fiction books, and you and I haven’t.” (The Sunday Times)