Interview with longlisted author Inaam Kachachi



When did you begin writing The Outcast and where did the inspiration for it come from?

I began it after it had fully fermented in my mind. This is how I usually go about writing. The idea stays with me as I come and go, and I live with it for a year, or two or three years, before I sit down at the computer to write. As for inspiration, it is a word which doesn’t suit me. Let’s just say that I make use of life experiences and chance meetings. The idea came to me from some people I came across in real life. I was drawn to their wayward behaviour. 


Did the novel take long to write and where were you when you completed it? 

The writing in my head and also the research took a long time. The editing took two years, including a month which was a literary residency hosted by PEN in the Belgian city of Antwerp, and another month in Brussels. When I finished the novel, I was in a clinic outside Paris being treated for breathing problems. I celebrated the novel’s completion with the nurses. 


How have readers and critics received the novel?

I think it has had a good reception.


What is your next project after this novel?

A satirical, political novella.