We need not move an inch to wake up one morning and find ourselves to be migrants, or for a writer to find himself, overnight, a foreign writer.
Despite the new ease with which we cross borders and enter the experiences of others, some truths will not change: love finds us wherever we are, a child is born in only one place, the ground where we bury our dead becomes sacred to us; these places do not belong to us, we belong to them. And where does a writer metaphorically wish to be laid to rest? In a book, in a reader. Not laid to rest in terms of immortality, but in terms of common experience; laid to rest in this common ground.
A writer may be born in one place and write in another—but who claims him?
A national literature is made not only by writers, but by readers.
What makes a home for words is a reader; and what makes a home for a reader is words. When the dead cannot be laid to rest in ground that remembers them, sometimes literature is the only grave we have. And that grave is one way a migrant claims a place in his adopted country—a place, ironically, for the living.