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Me and My Icons

18 of 34 nominations

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A Cup of Tea

A Cup of Tea

Tracy Chevalier may be a native of Washington DC, but she had no hesitation in nominating this traditional icon of England - a cup of tea - as her own favourite form of punctuation.

“My choice for an English icon? It’s got to be a cup of tea, which is the equivalent of a comma in English daily life – the reason for a pause, either to celebrate, to commiserate, to warm up, or to cool down.”

On her official website (www.tchevalier.com) she describes writing as “a painful process but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s kind of like running – you feel terrible for those first 10 minutes but then it gets better and afterwards you feel great.” Perhaps the tea helps the creative process!

Read more about the cup of tea.

A Cup of Tea

Tracy Chevalier

Historical novelist

Tutored by the novelists Malcolm Bradbury and Rose Tremain during an MA in creative writing, Tracy Chevalier began her first novel, ‘The Virgin Blue’, during the course; it was published in 1997. The best-seller ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ followed, then the acclaimed ‘Falling Angels’ and ‘The Lady and the Unicorn’. She’s currently working on a novel about William Blake. Tracy moved to London in 1984, intending to stay for six months - and is still here.