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Wait – what’s a pram? Oh, right…

“My children have been a crucial part of my work in ways that I find hard to account for or anticipate. If I need to go on a research trip for a book or a film, we’ll usually go as a family, and I find that – apart from the fact that it’s useful to have extra eyes and ears – people and places tend to open up to you more. In southern Europe, in particular – now that the birth rate is practically zero – there is much nostalgia surrounding big families: when we turn up, all nine of us, it’s as though a bunch of rock stars have arrived by steam train. Once, in Sicily, we got a round of applause just for walking down the street.”


  1. Jonathan Webb says

    That's really disturbing. Mark Steyn fleshed out.

  2. Dorian Speed says

    It's funny – when I was reading it, I didn't notice the byline. Then I got to the part about "family of nine" and thought – who is this guy?

  3. Matthew Lickona says

    One young man asked me if I wasn't worried about "the pram in the hallway". I asked him where the phrase came from. "Cyril Connolly." "And what did he ever write?" The questioner thought for a minute then said, "Shit. Yeah", and thanked me for "liberating him from fear". Blimey.


    Ha! Still, I'm very angry with you, SEP, for taking away my favorite excuse for not having published any novels just yet.

  4. Southern Expat says

    I know – I thought, "Mr. Lickona is going to take this too personally." Maybe you just don't have *enough* kids yet.

  5. Anonymous says

    Two's enough.

  6. SEP,

    Nine of course is the perfect number of children for the artist.

    At least Zeus and Mnemosyne thought so….


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