I’m now officially done with trying to hawk my book to America, though I’ve been busily lining up reasons to come back later in the year. This trip’s swansong came on 8 May, with three radio interviews – including this 45-minute segment for the Leonard Lopate show on WNYC – followed by a reading at the legendarily louche KGB’s on East 4th Street. Below is what part of the room looked like, if the eye and lens of my multi-talented artist-dancer-lawyer-photographer friend Miriam Aziz are to be trusted. Dim though the lights might have been, the venue’s hosted some serious literary luminaries over the years, and I was tickled pink by my invitation to speak there. Great fun was had by almost all, but the saloon-side Q&A came to a suitably chaotic conclusion when someone on a bar-stool followed up a curt question with several lengthy interjections. After challenging various assertions I hadn’t made, he warned everyone present that I didn’t just happen to be wrong about Islamic history; I was deliberately lying, he said, because that is what Islam requires of its followers when they talk to infidels. I tried persuading him he was mistaken, but he was having none of it. Ah well. There’s only a limited amount you can really do to counter that argument . . .