“When Defending Your Writing Becomes Defending Yourself” by Matthew Salesses

“Here is a not uncommon experience. Writer Emily X.R. Pan was told by the white writers in her workshop that the racism in her story could never happen β€” though every incident had happened to her.

“A writer might object that ‘it happened in real life’ is a poor argument for why something should be depicted in fiction. On a craft level, the story should make it seem possible to ride one’s bike 100 miles overnight or help deliver a baby on an airplane. But that is an argument for particular story context: introducing a character who often rides his bike long distances, for example.

“A critique of race and racism is more often a case of the class questioning what happens because of the context of their lives. It is a critique that wears the pretense of craft, but what it is really doing is saying that a common experience needs to be treated as particular and unusual. As particular and unusual as the bike or baby example.”

To read the full article, visit: http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2014/07/20/313158511/salesses-writers-workshop-diversity


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s