The philosophy of individualism owes a great deal to the tradition of novel-writing and novel-reading. In its development and in its aesthetics, the novel is not politically neutral; it has been a participant in history all along.
The history of the British empire, the chapter of our national story that would have explained to my classmates why a child born in Nigeria was sat among them, was similarly missing from the curriculum.
I think history is continuous. It doesn't begin or end on Pearl Harbor Day or the day Lyndon Johnson withdraws from the presidency or on 9/11. You have to learn from the past but not be imprisoned by it. You need to take counsel of history but never be imprisoned by it.
Food is everything we are. It's an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It's inseparable from those from the get-go.
I don't think I'm morbid by nature. Serious writers have always written about serious subjects. Lighthearted material doesn't appeal to me, and I don't read it. I think I'm a realist, with a realistic sensibility of history and the tragedy of history.
The only justification for repressive institutions is material and cultural deficit. But such institutions, at certain stages of history, perpetuate and produce such a deficit, and even threaten human survival.