Rhidian Brook, author of The Aftermath, answered our five questions.
IFOA: You’re well travelled. What’s your favourite place in the world, and why?
Rhidian Brook: It’s a toss up between the Arizona/Utah canyons, Burgundy in France and my hometown, Tenby, Wales. But then there’s Lake Tanganyika in Burundi, Noosa (Australia)—and I can’t leave out the Dalmatian islands of Croatia. This isn’t fair. Do I have to choose? Okay… The canyons. Why? Because you know when you look at them that there’s nothing like them on earth and because the time taken in sculpting them gives the ego a necessary realignment.
IFOA: Who is your perfect reader?
IFOA: What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
Brook: HHhH by Laurent Binet. Although Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain runs it close.
IFOA: The Aftermath is set in postwar Germany in 1946 and based on your grandfather’s experiences. What can you tell us about the research process for this book?
Brook: This deserves a longer answer, but my father and uncle were key in supplying the texture of those times; a visit to Hamburg and the house that inspired the story was vital; a key text was A Strange Enemy People by Patricia Meehan—a brilliant history of a very under-served piece of history.
IFOA: Finish this sentence: I write best when I…
Brook: …have walked round the block once and had a coffee.