Author Laura McVeigh on how her Troubles childhood made her think about her identity and shaped her writing
As humans we all share 99.9 per cent of the same DNA. We share overwhelmingly more in common with each other – regardless of where we live or come from on the planet – than not. Yet we build difference into everything – “let’s build walls”, the cry goes out. “Them versus us”, we hear over and over. Or the more insidious mutterings of, “you should stick to your own kind”. What does that even mean when we are all the same kind? Humankind.
These were the types of identity issues and questions I struggled with as a child, then teenager, growing up in Northern Ireland in the 1980s – a time when the Troubles were in full swing and things were very different to how they are now.