Most writers begin with accounts of their first home, their family, and the town, often from quite a hostile point of view-love/hate, let's say. In a way, this stepping outside, in an attempt to judge enough to create a duplicate of it, makes you an outsider. . . . I think it's healthy for a writer to feel like an outsider. If you feel like an insider you get committed to a partisan view, you begin to defend interests, so you wind up not really empathizing with all mankind.