You can't write about the past and ignore religion. It was such a fundamental, mind-shaping, driving force for pre-modern societies. I'm very interested in what religion does to us - its capacity to create love and empathy or hatred and violence.
Yes, the small village that we live in, in Virginia, is a very interesting place, in terms of its Civil War history, because it was a town that was founded by Quakers in 1733.
September 11, 2001, revealed heroism in ordinary people who might have gone through their lives never called upon to demonstrate the extent of their courage.
I had been afraid of breast cancer, as I suspect most women are, from the time I hit adolescence. At that age, when our emerging sexuality is our central preoccupation, the idea of disfigurement of a breast is particularly horrifying.
When you're writing non-fiction, you go as far as you can go, and then ethically you have to stop. You can't go. You can't suppose. You can't imagine. And I think there's something in human nature that wants to finish the story.