And all it takes is a small dose of ZZ Packer to cheer me up again.

“Like most people, Packer paid little attention to family stories as a child, but a few years ago, hearing an urgency in her grandmother’s voice, she interviewed her about her life as a sharecropper’s daughter. That led to research into the migration across the country of African Americans from the south, particularly those who made the less-known journey west. “I’m always interested in the gaps, the people who don’t get talked about,” she says.”

Also this profile of Orhan Pamuk:

“There are writers like Nabokov and Naipaul and Conrad who exchanged their civilisations and nations and even languages. It is a very cherished and fashionable idea in literature and so in a sense I am embarrassed that I have done none of this. I have lived virtually in the same street all my life and I currently live in the apartment block where I was brought up. But this is how it has to be for me and this is what I do. And look at my view. From here it is not so difficult to see the world.”





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