I made a short trip to New York recently to meet my US publishers, Scribner – an imprint of Simon & Schuster. It was a pleasure to meet my US editor, Alexis, and her great colleagues.










We talked about the plans for the book and agreed on the final design for the cover of the hardback edition, which I love – see sidebar! The Painted Bridge comes out in July 2012 in the States, two months after it appears here.

It was before the heavy snows fell and New York was full of golden light. The buildings were awe-inspiring and the energy on the streets of Manhattan big and bountiful. I’d been several times before but NYC had never looked more beautiful.
























Coming back, in the car from Heathrow to north London, the houses and vehicles, even the people, looked small. I felt a disloyal pang of disappointment in the city I chose as my home more than 30 years ago and have loved in different ways and for different reasons ever since.

Now, ten days later, my eyes have re-adjusted. London looks right again, the centre of the world for me.

From my window

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