"Today is the 7th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I know that not all of you who read are in the U.S., but still, it’s vital that none of us who are decent people forget the scope of disaster that a few, evil people can cause–anywhere in the world. It’s not about religion, it’s not about politics, it’s about the acknowledgment that humans should try to work together, not tear each other apart, even when they disagree.
So, feeling my way to a question here … Terrorists aren’t just movie villains any more. Do real-world catastrophes such as 9/11 (and the bombs in Madrid, and the ones in London, and the war in Darfur, and … really, all the human-driven, mass loss-of-life events) affect what you choose to read? Personally, I used to enjoy reading Tom Clancy, but haven’t been able to stomach his fight-terrorist kinds of books since.
And, does the reality of that kind of heartless, vicious attack–which happen on smaller scales ALL the time–change the way you feel about villains in the books you read? Are they scarier? Or more two-dimensional and cookie-cutter in the face of the things you see on the news?"
Since 9/11, I've become more interested in the cultural differences in other countries, especially the differences that directly affect women. There has been a surplus of books dealing with Middle Eastern women, and maybe it's a good thing. It is an eyeopener for those of us that are successful, career oriented, women. What I've found most interesting is the respect for cultural values, even at the expense of freedom for some of the women featured in these books. I think it helps us to better understand what it feels like to be on the other side, as a normal, regular citizen from another country. What it feels like to walk in someone else's shoes.