Elif Shafak: The Politics of Fiction

We all live in some kind of a social and cultural circle, we all do. We’re born into a certain family, nation, class, but if we ┬áhave no connection whatsoever with the world beyond the walls we take for granted, we (too) run the risk of drying up inside. Our imagination might shrink, our hearts might dwindle and our humanness may wither if we stay for too long inside our cultural cocoons. Our friends, neighbours, colleagues, family – if all the people in our inner circle resemble us, it means we are surrounded by our mirror image.

…..communities of the likeminded are one of the greatest dangers of today’s globalised world. And it’s happening everywhere – amongst liberals and conservatives, agnostics and believers, the rich and the poor, east and west alike. We tend to form clusters based on similarity and then we produce stereotypes about other clusters of people.