Jessica Norrie writes a post that I am sure will result in plenty of discussion. I do recommend that you head over and add your thoughts…
The Right to Write.
My blogging friend Mary Smith commented last post, re Edna O’Brien’s Girl, on controversy surrounding white authors using the voice of black characters. Girl was so fast paced and compelling I finished it in three sittings. Then, looking it up on Goodreads, I found a question from a member:
Who else thinks a young, black woman would have been a better authorial choice for this topic/concept?
There were three very different answers (plus the point that authors choose topics for their fiction rather than the other way round).
1. If we start to say that only young black women can write about young black women, where does that eventually take us? To more constraints on what women can and can’t do and there’s more than enough of them out there already.
2. I feel uncomfortable with a white woman telling this story and making any profit from it whatsoever.
3. (recommending a non fiction account): Helon Habila may not be a woman, but he is a highly regarded author and poet from Nigeria.
Girl is told from the point of view of one of the 276 schoolgirls abducted from a boarding school in Chibok, Nigeria in April 2014, the best known of many such abductions. To me the novel is less about a black-only experience than one example of what throughout history and all over the world men have done to women in the name of religion, power or both. Regardless of race or age, Edna O’Brien is a woman who, raised in Catholic Ireland, knows all about repression.
Head over to read the post in full and add your comments…The right to write