For the Guardian, he named his top ten novels of solitude, including:
Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite YourcenarRead about another book on the list.
Yourcenar's marvellous account of the life and mind of the Emperor Hadrian is a flawless historical fiction. Hadrian, as depicted here, is a lonely and sensual philhellene; an introvert and philosopher who, for the sake of Rome, had to be a public man. It is the story of a philosopher-king's struggle to understand himself, but such is Yourcenar's skill that we absorb, along the way, both the flickering memories in Hadrian's mind as well as a lot of information about ancient Rome.