Showing posts from February, 2020

"Stay In Your Own Lane” Storytelling Will Be The Death of Literature

by Gail Vida Hamburg The controversy over Jeanine Cummins’   American Dirt— about who has the right to tell a story, the “White Gaze” of writers, and about the self-referential, exclusionary arbiters of mainstream publishing who dictate what is written and promote what America reads—has divided the writers I know into partisans.  In one camp, those who defend their right to create any story and character that captures their imagination. In the other, those who view the writing of stories by those who haven’t directly lived the experience of the characters and the fiction they create as cultural appropriation and cultural misappropriation. As a writer of two novels populated by multicultural characters—immigrants, exiles, itinerants, Americans rooted here or living peripatetically as foreigners abroad — I stand in the middle, not without opinion or judgement, but calling for an embrace of nuance, asserting that writing fiction beyond our own individual experience is not a ca