It is a natural inclination of the human soul, upon feeling alienated in its native country for a protracted time, to take it upon itself to find belonging elsewhere. There exists within mankind a deep and unrelenting need to belong, particularly within a coterie of those whom he deems kindred spirits, those whose orientation—be it earthy, spiritual, mental, or physical—closely aligns with his own, and, upon finding such a group, he endeavours to become a permanent fixture among their ranks.
There is a natural inclination amongst humankind to endeavour to understand that which is otherwise seemingly incomprehensible. Since man first gazed upon the winking expanse of heaven and roamed the lengths of the unspoilt earth, he attempted to unravel its fabric, chasing the golden threads of the untiring sun, as though by doing so he could cut through the fog of mystery that shrouded his existence.
The demand on the novelist is simple: intimately understand what it means to be human– all the anger, joy, sorrow, weakness, triumph, beauty, brokenness– and depict this humanness in a raw but poetic work of fiction that simultaneously makes readers laugh, cry, and contemplate life (and death), while dramatically and indefinitely altering the way they perceive both themselves and the universe.
As I write these words the radical Islamic group, ISIS, continues to unleash untold barbarities upon the portion of northern Syria and central Iraq that it controls; conflict persists in Ukraine between pro-Russian revolutionaries and government troops despite the declaration of a ceasefire almost a month ago; Ebola spreads across West Africa claiming as many as 3,091 lives (according to WHO) despite efforts to contain it; and tens of thousands of Hong Kong activists gather as part of a pro-democracy movement.