The violent upheavals of the twentieth century have made millions of people homeless in one traumatic uprooting after another. Exile, is of course, not simply a change of address. It is also spiritual dislocation. Anthropologists and psychologists tell us that displaced people feel lost in a universe that has suddenly become alien. Once the fixed point of home is gone, there is fundamental lack of orientation that makes everything seem relative and aimless. Cut off from the roots of their culture and identity, migrants and refugees can feel that they are somehow withering away and becoming insubstantial. Their world – inextricably linked with their unique place in the cosmos – has literally come to an end.”
– The Spiral Staircase, P.23-24.