I feel sorry for kids these days. They get so much homework. Remember the days when we put a belt around our two books and carried them home? Now they're dragging a suitcase. They have school all day, then homework from six until eleven. There's no time left to be creative.
Swedes are such a civilised, perfect society - at least on the surface. There's a great safety net, a huge middle class, free education, free health care. People are very polite, they wait their turn. They're not too loud, they're not too quiet, but sometimes it's a little too perfect.
I think I succeeded as a writer because I did not come out of an English department. I used to write in the chemistry department. And I wrote some good stuff. If I had been in the English department, the prof would have looked at my short stories, congratulated me on my talent, and then showed me how Joyce or Hemingway handled the same elements of the short story. The prof would have placed me in competition with the greatest writers of all time, and that would have ended my writing career.