'Most literary novels are about the middle class, so much so that we don’t often think about class when we read them. Being middle class – like being white and male – is read as the universal human experience. There were no people like me or my family in the novels I read as a child. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, this exacerbated my feelings of inferiority and marginality. There was a sense that to obtain the life my parents wanted for me I had to leave them and my class behind.'