The United States has written the white history of the United States. It now needs to write the black, Latino, Indian, Asian and Caribbean history of the United States.
Diplomacy in a sense is the opposite of writing. You have to disperse yourself so much: the lady who comes in crying because she's had a fight with the secretary; exports and imports; students in trouble; thumbtacks for the embassy.
I believe in books that do not go to a ready-made public. I'm looking for readers I would like to make. To win them, to create readers rather than to give something that readers are expecting. That would bore me to death.
Under the veneer of Westernization, the cultures of the Indian world - which have existed for 30,000 years! - continue to live. Sometimes in a magical way, sometimes in the shadows.
I am a morning writer; I am writing at eight-thirty in longhand and I keep at it until twelve-thirty, when I go for a swim. Then I come back, have lunch, and read in the afternoon until I take my walk for the next day's writing.
Like all of Latin America, Mexico after independence in 1821 turned its back on a triple heritage: on the Spanish heritage, because we were newly liberated colonies, and on our Indian and black heritages, because we considered them backward and barbaric. We looked towards France, England and the U.S., to become progressive democratic republics.
You have an absolute freedom in Mexican writing today in which you don't necessarily have to deal with the Mexican identity. You know why? Because we have an identity... We know who we are. We know what it means to be a Mexican.
Contrary to the macho culture of Mexico, both my grandmothers were very brave young widows. I was always very close to these hard-working, intelligent women.
What's happened at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq is one of the grossest violations of human rights under the Geneva Conventions that we have record of. It is simply monstrous.
What I want is to respond to the challenge posed by the mass media - to permit the novel to say what can only be said by narrative - to allow it to be itself.
U.S. foreign policy is Manichaean. It's like a Hollywood movie. You have to know who has the white hat and who has the black hat and then go against the black hat.