I’m not exactly safe [in Uganda], but to a certain extent I’m safe because I stand my ground. I’m not going to change out of fear, I’m not going to run away from the country, and the fact that you guys know about me is a form of protection for me. I look over my shoulder every day, but there’s no other place I’d rather be than be there and make sure that the safety I need actually happens in the country.
Perhaps balancing the joys of escapism with the awareness of deception was the whole point of why we read novels, but I was never able to successfully manage this simultaneous suspension of the real and the fictive. Maybe you just needed to be an adult in order to perform this high-wire act of believing and not-believing at the same time.