Recently I have begun to wonder to what extent we conceal a more mundane reality when we assign ideological narratives to these extremists: that of cowardice or an inability to confront male inadequacy.
Your private self is other: you don’t have the intellectual capacity to keep track of it all. Some days you give away more about yourself than you had intended to: you’re untidy, indecently exposed. Sometimes others seem to know more about you than you do.
As the days are getting shorter, we investigate things that are tucked away in dark corners of the brain – or the national consciousness.
‘This novel is structured around the relationship between silence and speaking. Silence is the major hero. People who have gone through terrible trauma don’t want to remember. It all needed time to come out, and now things are coming out.’
‘People will fight another to assert the truth of their story. Novels tell us that in fact there isn’t one story. Everybody has a piece of a true story. It is like the story of the blind people and the elephant.’