In this life, we have to make many choices. Some are very important choices. Some are not. Many of our choices are between good and evil. The choices we make, however, determine to a large extent our happiness or our unhappiness, because we have to live with the consequences of our choices.
My father, a Russian translator, wanted to distinguish me by calling me Misha, the Russian diminutive of his name, Michael. My name and work as a writer specialising in the Balkans has created a myth that I have Slavic connections, but actually I am British.
Typically, I would run away from conflict and write about it - that was easier than staying and dealing face-to-face with humans; that's terrifying for me.
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