(Image taken from The Daily Telegraph.)
Xenophobia. ‘Fear of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange.’ Wikipedia.
More recently Xenophobia is understood to mean specifically a fear of foreigners.
In the best debut novel ever written by me, the hero Sean finds himself in a new country, facing new people and challenges.
He is Xenophobic. Of course he is. We all are. We would be stupid not to be. I am no evolutionary scientist, but I suspect that fear of the foreign or strange was essential. It is what made our ancestors look at a sabre-tooth tiger and think ‘Hmmm… Not sure that I’m going to go give that thing a hug’
When I hear or read the word xenophobia now, people are using it to lament that prejudice remains. Prejudice about gender, race, disability and sexuality. I believe that it is in our nature to fear that which is strange or foreign. We overcome these fears through learning and education. At the root of learning is reading.
To eradicate prejudice, we need to read more, to learn more, to become familiar with more and more different people and situations. This will help us overcome Xenophobia.
In short, sign up for my e-mail newsletter and I’ll let you know when the best debut novel ever written by me is available – and you can join the fight.
By buying it.