A novel, I think, is partly about the contemporary and partly about the eternal, and it's the balance of that that's difficult to achieve.
You can take the boy out of Bombay; you can't take Bombay out of the boy, you know.
In any authoritarian society, the possessor of power dictates, and if you try and step outside, he will come after you. This is equally true of Sovietism, of China and of Iran, and in our time it has happened a lot in Islam. The point is that it's worse when the authoritarianism is supported by something supernatural.
Perhaps because my relationship with my father went through such a long, bumpy time, it's been very important for me to work to try to keep lines of communication open between my sons and myself to try to avoid my father's mistakes. At least if you're making mistakes, make different mistakes.