- Why I trunked my novel – A white author who lived in Bangkok explains why they decided to scrap their Thai-set novel after seeing how people praised it as “exotic intrigue.”
Regardless of my good intentions and how much or little justice I did them, it had already been demonstrated that the story was going to prop up people’s terrible ideas of what Thailand was, and there’s a thing I enjoy called sleeping at night.
A few months after that, I made myself face the truth about my novel, namely that it might be meaningful, it might be well intentioned, that it might be doing all the work in the world to decry harmful western narratives about Thailand – but it was still a western narrative, would still feed back into the neverending loop of western narratives building on each other and making it harder for Thai narratives to be seen and heard. In a world where the playing field were more level, something like the thing I was writing might be ok; in the world that we live in, I’m not so sure. And if I believed in my own stated principles, I could either ditch them in the hope of personal gratification and gain, or follow them to their logical conclusion and trunk the novel.
It was a hard choice to make emotionally but, in the end, an easy and obvious one morally.
- Why We Need Diverse Book Reviewers and Bloggers: Twinja Book Reviews’ List of Black Book Bloggers Who Review Diverse Spec Fic – If you read speculative fiction, this diverse list of bloggers should appeal to you.
Since it’s Black Speculative Fiction Month, we’ve been highlighting authors who write speculative fiction, but what about those of us who read it? Everyone talks about how we need diverse books, which is 100% true. But one of the things we often over look, is the diversity in the book blog world.
Any one can have an appreciation for diverse titles, as they enrich the lives of everyone. But the lack of diversity makes it difficult for those who fall under a default, to truly understand the differences in narratives being told.
What is considered fantasy in one culture, may be realistic fiction to another.
- Amazon’s Elite Reviewing Club Sabotaged My Book – This post by advice columnist Margo Howard complaining about the Vine reviews on her memoir is hilariously lacking in self-awareness. I almost thought it was a joke.
But I also learned, first-hand, what can occur when people with an agenda find a forum to say anything they please. Books, of course, can be and are reviewed pre-publication—but by reviewers who are attached to magazines or newspapers. “Book Reviewer” is considered a profession, and reviews are done by other writers. Good sense would seem to militate against any group of people unschooled in creative and critical reviewing coming up with a worthwhile review. The Vine people, who deal mostly with products for the home and the body, seem inappropriate bellwethers regarding products for the mind, if you will.
I was so distressed about this injustice that I looked up the list of Amazon’s board of directors. Great good luck, I happened to know two of them, so I pestered the one who was a lawyer, feeling all this slamming by the barely literate approached tortious interference. She was sympathetic—and surprised—by the whole Vine business, and made it possible for me to be in touch with its head, Elisabeth Rommel, a savvy young woman who was generous spending time with me on the phone.
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg owns a surprisingly large number of ‘Notorious RBG’ t-shirts – If you’re into videos, this interview with Ginsburg is a wonderful one.
On Sunday night, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sat down with NPR reporter Nina Totenberg and former President of the Supreme Court of Israel Dorit Beinisch for a conversation about law, being a woman on the high court and Tumblr. The event was held at 92nd St Y in New York City.
During the conversation, Ginsburg revealed that yes, she does know that the Internet is talking about her, and yes, she does own “a large supply” of ‘Notorious RBG’ t-shirts. (Fast-forward the video to 1:08:30).
- Sex Is Sex. But Money Is Money. – I can’t vouch for its authenticity, but this was a fascinating long-read by a former sex worker.
I arrived in New York City from Chelyabinsk, a city right in the middle of Russia, when I was 19 years old, with $300 in my pocket. I turned 24 in March and have managed to save $200,000, by fucking for money. I’ve traveled to Morocco, Paris, Beijing, and Monaco. Men have brought me tea from London, chocolates from Switzerland, lingerie from France and shoes from Italy. I’ve bought my parents a little village house. (I told them I had a rich American boyfriend who was taking care of me.)
I don’t hate men. I am not a victim of child trafficking. I have never been raped, or drugged, or done porn. I’m not an addict. I never had a pimp. I don’t suffer from what my American girlfriends call “daddy issues” and what my shrink refers to as “malformed identity centering on early childhood abandonment.” My dad had lovers. I don’t blame my parents for my job, or my life. Other kids have other problems. My parents had problems when they were kids. My therapist has helped me see that.
- My superhero: Mom on why she loves her hockey-playing trans son – This is something we all could do with reading after all this drama. A happy story about a mom supporting her transgender son as he plays competitive boys hockey is good for the soul.
Sending your then 14 year old transgender son into a locker room of 15-18 year old boys with minimal adult supervision is not for the faint of heart. Cory had not yet started hormones, and in many ways I still saw him as my daughter. Protecting him from testosterone-riddled competitive boys was one thing, but keeping his trans status private became another challenge. Girl’s hockey in our neck of the woods, especially when you are good, is a tight community. I frequently had to shuffle Cory out of the building before one of his former girls teams saw him and ‘outed’ him in front of his team.
His year of going stealth was a huge success. He played like a star, loved by his team, and knew he could transition to male and still play the sport he loved. In the next two years he was even drafted onto a rep team and gained confidence, maturity and serious hockey smarts.