It is obviously no secret that I earn a lot of money. But it is also no secret that I give most of it away. I don't live a luxurious life. I drive a small second-hand Fiat. I don't have to worry about money, which is itself a privilege. But I never had any anxiety that I would lose my identity.
The fundamental driving force for me is to create a change in the world we live in... It is about exploitation, plundering and degradation. I have a small possibility to participate in the resistance. Most of the things that I do are part of a resistance, a form of solidarity work.
I'm quite sure Shakespeare enjoyed writing Iago much more than he did writing Othello. If you write about someone you love, what the hell are you supposed to say about that person? It's much better to have something between you and your main character that grates.
Certainly, I know what it's like to be obsessed. I haven't always been there for my children. They could reach me, but I wasn't always there. But, you know, that's not necessarily anything to do with being a writer. I mean, a taxi driver could have the same problem...
When I was a very young author, I knew I needed to build myself a tower outside of Europe. Like when you're a hunter, and build towers to watch the animals move. I knew I would never understand the world without that perspective. I came to Africa for that rational reason, although I love Mozambique now.
I still have a photo on my wall of the greatest idol I will ever have in my life, and it's myself at eight. Because that's when the forces of imagination have the same value as the real world, when they're an instrument of survival: when my mother disappeared, and I imagined a mother. That was me at my best.
Too often we learn everything about how an African dies, but nothing about how he lives. But they learn and live and love and dream just like we do. That's not to say there are not a hell of a lot of problems in Africa. But there is also another side to that story.