I am not by any stretch of the imagination a tidy person, and the piles of unread books on the coffee table and by my bed have a plaintive, pleading quality to me - 'Read me, please!'
Times were very hard if you were a poor, politically correct Jewish girl living in the east end of London during the Blitz and you were trying to eke out a living as a hairdresser.
I was embarrassed by my parents. I thought they had nothing of interest to say or contribute to anything. My real crime was not understanding that they were interesting, and I have been trying to make it up to them for being so indescribably blase, so genuinely uninterested and dismissive.
I'm a really hectic dreamer; I never wake up not out of a dream, and there's loads going on, lots of action, big blockbuster dreams, they're all major enterprises.
It became obvious to me that the generation who changed the world were my parents' generation, and not only in terms of the Second World War, but if you look at all the social legislation of the '60s - abortion, homosexual law reform, equal pay - it wasn't done by my generation; it was done by people who were adults.
When I was in my 20s in the 1970s, I read all of Jean Rhys. I have reread very little since because the first impressions were so powerful they have stayed with me.