I used to have this envious feeling towards the type of writer who never gives a second thought to whether their readers might not all be white and middle class and highly educated. That’s the whole world to them. All their characters sound like the author and like each other and like the reader. It seemed to me you could write so much more cleanly and stylishly when you didn’t have to try and think yourself into many places at the same time. Of course, it probably isn’t easier—the grass always looks greener elsewhere. Anyway, in my situation, every time I write a sentence I’m thinking not only of the people I ended up in college with but my siblings, my family, my school friends, the people from my neighborhood. I’ve come to realize that this is an advantage, really: it keeps you on your toes. And it seems clear to me that these little varietals of voice and lifestyle (bad word, but I can’t think of another) are fundamentally significant. They’re not just decoration on top of a life; they’re the filter through which we come to understand the world. To be born into money is ontologically different than to be born without it, for example.