Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Do Ethnic Writers Write for Everyone?

Very serendipitously, I just came upon a post at GalleyCat that mentions how during and interview:

"Wall Street Journal, Robert Hughes comes right out and asks [Jhumpa Lapiri], "Have you ever
thought of writing about non-Indians?
" To which her answer is, actually, "I
don't think that way when I'm writing stories. I just write from the point of
view of some individual, trying to form a character who happens to be those

Wow, no way, seriously? I'm offended and I wasn't there and don't even have nothing to do with it.

This question would never come up if the author wasn't a person of color and a woman at that.

Can you imagine - asking any of the "DWEM" who they wrote for? Of course not - because by default they wrote for everyone, while any one else - woman or other minority - write for 'their people' - indicating the persistence of the idea that this sort of lit. cannot transcend marginalization and thereby doesn't speak to everyone - like a darn good book should.

I know better, I can't be the only one.



  1. I think it falls under the same catagory as music. If you have an appreciation for it then it is for you.

    You cannot sit here and put color on words. If a book has been published and put out on the market for everyone to buy I would then assume that it was for everyone. Unlike a publication built for a specific group of people... Let's say a company newsletter. We know its for those people.

    When ethnic writers do their thing and put those words on paper it is to education, amuse, and trigger the thoughts of the reader. No matter what culture, race or whatever you're from.


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