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Authors: Araminta Hall

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To what extent do Clarice and Alice’s differences reflect the changing attitudes and expectations of women? Is Clarice a product of her generation, more than anything else?

I’m not sure that Clarice and Alice are that different actually. Of course the way they interact with the world is skewed by the times they live in, but in fact I think they have a similar attitude to life, if only they would speak to each other and break out of their own head spaces. Clarice is certainly a product of a generation who believed in manners and rules, but I think Alice is wrong to think that she has never been in love or that she fails to love now. Dot is as much a product of her generation as Clarice is and in fact, all three women are more a product of their experiences than anything else. All three of them have been abandoned in one way or another; Clarice by her mother and Howie, Alice by Tony and Dot by her father. They share this fundamental marker and yet none of them have ever spoken to each other about it; they are very similar characters, how they deal with it is, however, influenced by the times they occupy.

What would you like the reader to take away from this novel?

Whatever they want. For me that is absolutely the joy of reading, occupying a world that is your own for the time it takes to be there. It is very rare that you ever talk about a book with someone and find yourself in complete agreement (something which book groups across the land could no doubt testify to). I have spoken to strangers about my first book and heard them say things which I had not consciously meant anyone to take from my writing, but which I realise is there. I hope that people find
uplifting, but really as long as people enjoy reading it, I am happy for them to take from it what they will.

Do you have a favourite book?

I have been asked that question a lot since my first novel was published and of course the answer is no as there are so many books which I have loved. When pressed to pick one I do however find myself answering
A Prayer for Owen Meany
by John Irving. For me this is a pretty perfect book filled with pathos and love, families, struggles and meaning. It is one of the few books I have re-read more than twice and each time it leaves me breathless.

Many writers say that finding a particular place to write a novel is essential to their writing routine and helps with creativity. Do you have any personal habits that help you when you’re writing?

No, I have three children and a husband who commutes so I handle the majority of our domestic life. Our youngest started school last year which has made life a bit easier, but I think creative routines and places are the luxury of male writers! I write whenever and wherever, my only constant being a cup of tea. I’m not very good at leaving mess and so I tend to drop the kids at school, walk the dog, rush round the house and then hopefully sit down for an hour or two before the kids need picking up. Although, realistically I’m lucky to do that more than three days a week. Maybe in ten years I’ll only be able to write when wearing a yellow jumper drinking my tea out of a special mug, but for now I can’t afford to be picky or I’d write about two words a week.

About the Author

Araminta Hall began her career in journalism as a staff writer on teen magazine
, becoming Health and Beauty editor of
New Woman
. Her first novel
Everything and Nothing
received major critical acclaim. This is her second novel.


Everything and Nothing


This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.


77–85 Fulham Palace Road,

Hammersmith, London W6 8JB

Published by HarperCollins

Copyright © Araminta Hall 2013

Araminta Hall asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

Source ISBN: 9780007487806

Ebook Edition © May 2013 ISBN: 9780007487820

Version 1

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins.

About the Publisher


HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty. Ltd.

Level 13, 201 Elizabeth Street

Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia


HarperCollins Canada

2 Bloor Street East – 20th Floor

Toronto, ON, M4W, 1A8, Canada

New Zealand

HarperCollins Publishers (New Zealand) Limited

P.O. Box 1

Auckland, New Zealand

United Kingdom

HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

77-85 Fulham Palace Road

London, W6 8JB, UK

United States

HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

10 East 53rd Street

New York, NY 10022

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