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Andrew O'Hagan's childhood 'made him write with a dog's voice'

14th July 2010

Booker-nominated novelist Andrew O'Hagan has joked that his childhood made it almost inevitable he would write a book from the perspective of a dog.

Speaking at the Daily Telegraph Ways With Words festival at Dartington Hall in Devon, the author faced questions from the audience about the role dogs have played in his own life.

These queries were inspired by his latest novel, The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe, which is written from the viewpoint of the Hollywood star's faithful pet.

O'Hagan attributed the inspiration for the book to his 'chaotic' childhood in Glasgow and claimed that his family dog was the 'most sensible creature in the house'.

'My poor mother: she looked to the dog to do what my father couldn't manage. And that meant everything, especially the provision of moral authority. No wonder I ended up writing a comedy in a dog's voice,' he quipped.

The author also suggested he could write a sequel to The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, as the hound was adopted by Monroe's publicist when the actress died and spent time at the White House through the Kennedy and Nixon years.

In a previous interview with the Scottish Herald, O'Hagan revealed that his interest in Monroe was sparked during his childhood, as one of the few books in his house was called Norma Jean: The Life Of Marilyn Monroe.

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