Andrew O’Hagan: Friendly fire

I have tea with Andrew O’Hagan one morning at his house in Primrose Hill. We start talking about Seamus Heaney, a great friend of O’Hagan’s who died two years ago. I ask if he misses Heaney.

“Oh, every day. He had this brilliant tendency to take you under his wing, to be concerned about you in a very local way. He didn’t make friends with writers in order to pay attention to their reputations, or read reviews of their books, or to figure them in some higher or lesser constellation. He was interested in you humanly: he was a good person to have around if you had a cold.