I read mostly Irish, African, Japanese, South American, and African writers. You can count on Scandinavian literature for a certain kind of darkness, a modern mythic style.
The privilege of being a writer is that you have this opportunity to slow down and to consider things.
My mother was English. My parents met in Oxford in the '50s, and my mother moved to Nigeria and lived there. She was five foot two, very feisty and very English.
We often think that language mirrors the world in which we live, and I find that's not true. The language actually makes the world in which we live. Language is not - I mean, things don't have any mutable value by themselves; we ascribe them a value.