A Novelist Looks at Faith & Fiction
An Interview with Susan Howatch
by David Virtue
Susan Howatch lives in the Barbican, in the heart of London’s financial district. Her flat is spacious and comfortable. A portable typewriter rests on a table next to the sofa. She disdains computers. She tells me that she does seven or more revisions to every book before she is happy with the final product. Susan Howatch is an attentive hostess, erudite, well read, and the celebrated author of the famous Starbridge sextet of novels about the Anglican Church, its priests, their spirituality and sexuality. Over coffee we talked about her latest novel, The Wonder Worker. After an enjoyable lunch we talked further on a wide range of topics. For a number of years she lived near Westminster Abbey in London. She also lived in Salisbury opposite the cathedral, where she wrote her first group of novels with titles like Glittering Images, Glamorous Powers, Mystical Paths, and Absolute Truths. Susan Howatch’s books have sold in the millions, but she does not flaunt her wealth. She has funded a million-dollar lectureship at Cambridge University to explore the relationship between science and faith. She is outspoken, attractive, and fifty-something.
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