Finally, however, after careful consideration, I made up my mind to come here. One reason for my decision was that all too many people advised me not to do it. Perhaps, like many other novelists, I tend to do the exact opposite of what I am told. If people are telling me -- and especially if they are warning me -- "Don't go there," "Don't do that," I tend to want to "go there" and "do that." It's in my nature, you might say, as a novelist. Novelists are a special breed. They cannot genuinely trust anything they have not seen with their own eyes or touched with their own hands.
He then goes on to deeper issues
"Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side of the egg." Yes, no matter how right the wall may be and how wrong the egg, I will stand with the egg. Someone else will have to decide what is right and what is wrong; perhaps time or history will decide. If there were a novelist who, for whatever reason, wrote works standing with the wall, of what value would such works be?]]>
As a former reporter, I have a pesky allegiance to fact, although I recognize that the fragile nature of memory makes it difficult for most writers to produce uncontestable versions of their lives. I am drawn to stories about the quotidian – marriage, friendship, childhood, work, life, death.]]>
I never had any intention of becoming a novelist — at least not until I turned 29. This is absolutely true.]]>
Practically everything I know about writing, then, I learned from music. It may sound paradoxical to say so, but if I had not been so obsessed with music, I might not have become a novelist. Even now, almost 30 years later, I continue to learn a great deal about writing from good music.
Through his early years this goodly Christianity was life as he assumed it should be. Villagers in Ogidi who remained aloof from the church were considered "lost" by his family. "We called them the people of nothing," says Achebe.]]>
But as he grew older he puzzled over the fact that others, especially an uncle who resisted conversion, were leading different lives. They would hold "heathen" celebrations and offer food to "idols", as his parents would have it. What began for the young Achebe as curiosity grew into bemusement and finally anger about the lies that he had been told as a child.
That the atmosphere in Lebanon is significantly freer makes all the difference insofar as the annual book fair is concerned, as well as that of the general state of publishing. Not only are censorship laws relatively lax, but cultural norms tend toward the liberal on the subject of freedom of expression. Direct criticism of Islam and Christianity and their respective symbols is theoretically prohibited, and a few specific works that question the orthodox religious historiography of either religion or assail one or another of Lebanon’s myriad religious sects have been banned. Yet there remains a good deal of leeway for critical authors focusing on religion.]]>