Fives logo – a stylised number five

with Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

Something that makes you smile

Strangers’ pets. In particular—stippled cats and bulldogs in jackets. Also, crows that belong to no one at all.

A confession

When they’re in season, I will buy a three-pack of persimmons and eat as I walk. Sometimes, I’ll have finished them all before I get home. My mouth will be sweet and sticky and orange. This is a confession only because I am slowly realizing that I never see adult women in my city eat and walk. Yet it is such a deep pleasure. And admitting an unusual pleasure always feels like a confession.

The last thing you wrote

A reply to a message from a friend who is tipping into love and is just beginning to admit it to themselves.

Your favourite city

I can’t answer that. I’ve never been good at favourites. It feels like leaving too much out.

But I’m living in London at the moment. And I love the scraggly city foxes, the tiny Japanese café I sometimes write in, and peering in the windows between my home and the bus stop station.

What you’d place in a time capsule

Seeds. In the hope that the earth would still be a kind place for plants by the time they were dug up.

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is the author of Harmless Like You. This novel won an Authors’ Club First Novel Award and a Betty Trask Award. It was New York Times Editors’ Choice and a 2017 NPR Great Read. Other work appears in Granta, The Atlantic, and The Guardian.