`I am quite capable of travelling with nothing.’ Indeed, the only possessions Omar took with him when he left Cuba were the clothes on his back. He is accustomed to the experience of starting afresh on a blank page.
`When I came to London some 17 years ago, it was with one suitcase. That suitcase became my home, my apartment, my library. I still permit myself the luxury of carrying several books with me when I travel. My literary research takes me around the world. As I travel, my suitcase becomes a portable archive of the materials I collect along the way. It also becomes increasingly heavy.’