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Olivia Sudjic on the process behind Sympathy

Posted 26th Jun 2017

The brilliant Olivia Sudjic reveals to us the process behind her debut Sympathy. Dubbed ‘the first great Instagram novel’, Sympathy is like a digital Alice in Wonderland, shedding light on our tangled online lives.

Here Olivia tells us (in tweet-sized bursts) about her writing process and the inspirations behind Sympathy.

1st visit to Japan, piggybacked on someone else’s wrk trip to Tokyo. Room service breakfast, ordered cheesecake + plotted Sympathy

When the novel looked more like a crime scene. I pinpointed the “chance encounters” like an app using geolocation

Like Alice, I love waking up in NY. “I had never woken so high up, and so effortlessly early, and with nothing obscuring the dawn”

A quote I discovered after I wrote Sympathy, from Sontag’s ‘On Photography’. This on steroids in the Insta Age.

“The mythic scale of the buildings shrank me at the same time as it made something grow in size” Navigating NY like a chessboard/Insta grid

A pink kimono spotted on a walk around Morningside Heights in the name of research. Nearly all main characterss live in this neighbourhood.

My agent Emma Paterson gave me this when I finished 1st draft – Mizuko’s fave and a study of tangled relationships.

Almost a year after I first saw the cover, I found the flower. It was like finally meeting someone you’ve only ever seen in pictures on your phone…

Find out more about Olivia’s incredible debut Sympathy here.