It's the swirling river of time that makes our identities, not the monochromatic simplicity of skin colour or the definitive lines of international borders.
I grew up in the African bush in Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda, which is my thing. I love the smell of the dust as you bump along in a Land-Rover. I go back there often.
My father worked in agriculture, and I got to travel round remote rural areas with him and see a bit of the landscape and people.
From 1971 to 1993, my family lived in a number of African countries, including Malawi, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Nigeria, as well as Uganda itself.
My father was an agricultural economist. In 1989 he was posted to Mbarara, a small town on the Uganda-Rwanda border.
To realise belatedly that there are Swahili epic poems which rival their European equivalents for sweep and power has been exciting.
Writing about Africa by Africans has been part of my literary apprenticeship, standing alongside works by authors such as Joseph Conrad, Joyce Cary and Graham Greene as influences.
I can't think of a specific meal, but my favourite country for food has got to be France. I love those restaurants in the middle of the village squares.
In Kenya, crime and terrorism are deeply linked, not least by the failure of successive Kenyan governments to control either.
Ordinary Kenyans rightly want to be able to shop safely, and there is a long history of them doing just that, irrespective of their religion or that of the shop owner.
You can gesture at the transnational problem of Islamist terrorism all you like, but it's just hot air unless you invest in proper security on the ground in your own country, with the right safeguards to civil liberties.
The search for inventive ways of telling the tale of Christ's birth has been going on a long time; in a way, difference was there from the start with Luke and Matthew.
In any culture, if information is to maximise in a contextual space, and new meanings be born, the original story has to have substance - there's gotta be gold in them thar hills.
Suffering produces a recursion to the tribe, to one's own kind. When a lot of people suffer, tribes lose their head.
The forgiveness that comes of patient interpretation seems impossible when those nearest to your heart are threatened.
Foreign students add cultural value to their British peers, who need an international outlook.
I spent my childhood tinkering with electronic circuits, on breadboards, as they used to be called, in particular making radio transmitters.
At school, I got into the whole CB thing, hiding a transceiver in my study-bedroom with which I'd make appointments to meet girls in town. I wasn't good enough at physics to take it much further than fun, but I suppose there was a need to communicate.
Since its beginnings, American writing has been in dialogue with other literatures.
Detective fiction could not have existed without Edgar Allan Poe.
Writers such as Richard Powers and the late David Foster Wallace have shown the path to a newer generation of writers for whom all national boundaries are quaint curiosities.
The history of ideas is littered with the corpses of those who have tried to define culture.