What if you had the chance to live your life again and again?

Kate Atkinson’s newest novel, Life After Life, centres on Ursula Todd and the paths her life could have taken, and the meaning it could have had. Could she avert World War II? Save someone from dying? What if there were second chances?

Kate visited Kobo HQ for a conversation about Life After Life, which is now shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013.

Kate told us that she wasn’t thinking so much about reincarnation when she began writing the novel, instead she was compelled to write about World War II – particularly the period of the Blitz, when England was pummelled and the English refused to succumb. It provided the perfect backdrop for Ursula to explore some of life’s bigger questions and for Kate to create a story rich with parallel lives to answer the questions – can you really learn from mistakes, how are virtues learned, and how to you make sure you matter?

It was a wonderful, thought provoking discussion. Check out our conversation with Kate Atkinson.