Lewycka, who was 58 when her life-transforming novel appeared two years ago, used to teach journalism and PR at Sheffield Hallam University, to which she is still attached in some vague, part-time, institution-boosting capacity. It quickly becomes apparent that she is a far better interviewer than I am, and is soon asking me questions. She is the sort of person who, on first meeting, you feel you have known all your life. Funny, open, energised; a bit like her fiction. Readers must feel it, too – hence the 800,000 sales of Tractors in the UK and the remarkably ugly book awards (“What on earth can you do with a Nibbie?”) that litter her resolutely unmodernised kitchen.
So has this vast success after almost 40 years in pursuit of publication changed her life – if not her kitchen? She laughs. “It has in some ways. It had always been my dream to be a writer, and obviously having your dream come true is fantastic. But there is something a bit terrible about it as well, because once your dream has come true, what else is there? It was your dream and it becomes your job, and then it’s not a dream any more.”
more from The Guardian here.