So the Bitch stumbles down into the kitchen this morning, switches on the kettle and the radio, thinking about the scene she will write today, and wait - what was that on the radio? Orhan Pamuk (the Turkish novelist)? Someone's threatened his life? The Bitch jumps to attention, but the item's over, the briefest of mentions.
In some places novels can be a matter of life and death. In other places this fact is a matter of little or relative consequence, not even mentioned on the TV news.
Jenny Diski has posted sardonically here and here on what novels, on the contrary, mean in our country. And John Baker provides a link showing what some books mean to some people.