I was a student at the University of Cape Town.  I was a good student.  I must say that my writing always paralleled everything else that I was doing in life.  It was always there, scribbling away at stories and notebooks and all of that. I was at the University of Cape Town studying philosophy and anthropology and social economics.  I was a good student.  I got class medals in all my subjects at the university.  And I was in my third year when I realized that I had a sense that completing that degree that I was studying for, a bachelor of arts degree, was a trap.  And it was a very, very difficult decision to make on my side, because my mother had scraped together as much cash as she could to get me into university because she singled me out as someone who was going to compensate for the frustrated ambitions in her own life.  She invested in me.  I was at university, and I sensed that getting this degree was potentially a trap to me as a writer, because in addition to enjoying my work in philosophy and all of that, there was the writer in me.  And I wrote to my mother, who had really struggled to get me to university, and I said, “Mom, I’m not going to take my degree.  I want to be a writer, and I am leaving the university because writers have to see the world.”  I still remember using that phrase, “Writers have to see the world, and so I’m going to see the world.”  After all the sacrifices she had made in order to get me at university, she wrote back to me and said — she was in Port Elizabeth, I was in Cape Town — she wrote back to me and said, “Hally,” because that was my nickname as a child, “Hally, if that’s what you must do, you must do it.”  Her faith in me was extraordinary and incredibly motivating in all the years that were to come ahead of me.