To me, the Quran is a research book.
I am a frustrated saxophone player. If I could, I would abandon all of my books, and I would trade it all if I could play the way people I admire play.
I keep a guitar around while writing and will improvise music. I do this for several reasons, such as that it’s fun, and sometimes it helps me with the meter.
Life is a game with many rules but no referee. One learns how to play it more by watching it than by consulting any book, including the holy book. Small wonder, then, that so many play dirty, that so few win, that so many lose.
And so I’m saying that, yes, colonialism was terrible, and I describe it as a legacy of wars, but we ought to be moving away from that by now.
When I was twelve, I started reading Eudora Welty, Thomas Wolfe, Flannery O’Connor, James Agee, and – do we dare breathe the name – William Faulkner.
I’m not big into images. I’m into reality.
‘Write’ is almost the wrong verb for what I do. I think ‘compose’ is more accurate because you’re trying to make the sounds in your mind and in your voice. So I compose while I’m driving or in the shower.
If modernist naturalism were true, there would be no objective truth outside of science. In that case right and wrong would be a matter of cultural preference, or political power, and the power already available to modernists ideologies would be overwhelming.
I go to the hamam and put henna on my skin and hair. Even when I go to New York, I let the shower run hot to create a steam hamam at my hotel. But when I finish with the bath, I put on expensive French creams.