My life is short. I can't listen to banality.
Whenever I have had to write fiction, I've always had to invent a character who roughly has my background.
The biography of a writer - or even the autobiography - will always have this incompleteness.
An autobiography can distort; facts can be realigned. But fiction never lies: it reveals the writer totally.
I don't feel I can speak with authority for many other people.
It's very attractive to people to be a victim. Instead of having to think out the whole situation, about history and your group and what you are doing... if you begin from the point of view of being a victim, you've got it half-made. I mean intellectually.
How can you be an atheist and have an ideology to go with it? To be an atheist is to be free of some areas of belief. I don't see how that can become an ideology.
The ancillary aspect of every British city now is the council estate.
One is made by all the things around one. There are many things that have made one. For a writer to go around looking for things that have made him is asking for trouble. It's like giving a character to yourself. Can't do it. Can't do it. These things are just there. Is that enough?
In Trinidad, where as new arrivals we were a disadvantaged community, that excluding idea was a kind of protection; it enabled us - for the time being, and only for the time being - to live in our own way and according to our own rules, to live in our own fading India.
You need someone to see what you've done, to read it and to understand it and to appreciate what's gone into it.
Whatever extra there is in me at any given moment isn't fully formed. I am hardly aware of it; it awaits the next book. It will - with luck - come to me during the actual writing, and it will take me by surprise.
Argentine political life is like the life of an ant community or an African forest tribe: full of events, full of crisis and deaths, but life is always cyclical, and the year ends as it begins.
I know my father and my mother, but beyond that I cannot go. My ancestry is blurred.
To be converted you have to destroy your past, destroy your history. You have to stamp on it, you have to say 'my ancestral culture does not exist, it doesn't matter.'
All the details of the life and the quirks and the friendships can be laid out for us, but the mystery of the writing will remain. No amount of documentation, however fascinating, can take us there.
As a child I knew almost nothing, nothing beyond what I had picked up in my grandmother's house. All children, I suppose, come into the world like that, not knowing who they are.
The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it.
If you decide to move to another country and to live within its laws you don't express your disregard for the essence of the culture. It's a form of aggression.
It was a good place for getting lost in, a city no one ever knew, a city explored from the neutral heart outward, until after many years, it defined itself into a jumble of clearings separated by stretches of the unknown, through which the narrowest of paths had been cut.
Africans need to be kicked, that's the only thing they understand.
Africa has no future.
Africa is not a fun place, you know. A fun place is somewhere that lifts the spirits, that cossets the senses. I don't think that can be said of the Africa I traveled in.
At school I had only admirers; I had no friends.
The first 50 years of the cinema were absolutely great years. Original minds were at work establishing the ways to tell a story. And what is happening now is a copying, a pastiche-ing of what was done by great men.
I've never abandoned the novel.