Who do you admire?
Malala Yousafzai, Edward Snowden, Aung San Suu Kyi, Beatrice Mtetwa.
So no writers then?
I can admire the writing of certain authors, but remain neutral about them as people. With the exception of writers like George Orwell and Naomi Klein, most – including myself – lead relatively worthless lives. And some writers are big-headed nonentities.
Give an example of a worthwhile life
Someone like Magamed Abubakarov, the human rights lawyer in Chechnya. You can friend him on Facebook, apparently, though I’m not on Facebook.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
“Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’ll be a mile away and you’ll have their shoes.” I don’t know who said it.
What sort of genres do you prefer?
I don’t really like the way the publishing industry has divided the market into genres. It’s so readers can be easily manipulated and milked. Any good story has elements of most, if not all, genres. Twilight, for example: packaged as a vampire story, but could as easily have been packaged as a supernatural romance – just as The Time Traveller’s Wife was packaged as supernatural romance rather than science fiction. It’s a con-trick.
Genre – Espionage Thriller
Rating – PG
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