I never think that anything I'm writing is bluntly political in any way. I'm not going for commentary.
Every time I write a new novel about something sombre and sobering and terrible I think, 'oh Lord, they're not going to want to go here'. But they do. Readers of fiction read, I think, for a deeper embrace of the world, of reality. And that's brave.
Many of us who aren't farmers or gardeners still have some element of farm nostalgia in our family past, real or imagined: a secret longing for some connection to a life where a rooster crows in the yard.
Back then I was still appalled that God would set down his barefoot boy and girl dollies into an Eden where, presumably, He had just turned loose elephantiasis and microbes that eat the human cornea. Now I understand, God is not just rooting for the dollies.