My life is black and white and mixed. My mother's a Rastafarian, my dad was a short white guy - it's not an affectation. It's also the lives of millions of people throughout the world.
I think of reading like a balanced diet: if your sentences are too baggy, too baroque, cut back on fatty Foster Wallace, say, and pick up Kafka as roughage.
You can't state difference and also state equality. We have to state sameness to understand equality.
My feeling is, having lived in different classes, that people want equality of opportunity... that's the thing that makes me despair: the idea that people aren't given equality of opportunity.
I have an ambition to write a great book, but that's really a competition with myself. I've noticed that a lot of young writers, people in all media, want to be famous but they don't really want to do anything. I can't think of anything less worth striving for than fame.
A lot of women, when they're young, feel they have very good friends, and find later on that friendship is complicated. It's easy to be friends when everyone's 18.
I'm very attracted to exile literature - particularly Nabokov - exactly because the idea of being away from home for any serious length of time is so inconceivable to me.
Young people understand the world. They should be listened to on matters of politics and world organization. But they know nothing of their own lives.
Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay.
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