“What will we say,” he asked his father, “when they inquire, where did you come from?”

The old man’s face entered a condition of scarlet vehemence. “This, I’ve answered before,” he cried. “Tell them, screw the identity parade. Tell them, we are snakes who shed our skin. Tell them we just moved downtown from Carnegie Hill. Tell them we were born yesterday. Tell them we materialised by magic, or arrived from the neighbourhood of Alpha Centauri in a spaceship hidden in a comet’s tail. Say we are from nowhere or anywhere or somewhere, we are make-believe people, frauds, reinventions, shapeshifters, which is to say, Americans.”

– Salman Rushdie, The Golden House (2017)

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