“call attention to the gaps and (if possible) work toward filling them”
May 8, 2017 7:53 AM   Subscribe

Writers of Color Discussing Craft: An Invisible Archive [De-Canon] by Neil Aitken “A couple weeks ago I was thinking about how Junot Diaz often comments on the fact he’s almost never asked to speak about craft, and instead always is asked to talk about race, identity, and the immigrant experience. And it’s true — when I think about all the books on writing craft I’ve read or heard about over the years I’m struck by how few POC-authored books on writing I’ve seen. Are they really that rare? Or are the books and essays out there, but we don’t know where to find them? This list is an ongoing project to catalog what writing resources are out there (if you are aware of other texts, essays, and resources that should be listed, please post in the comments and I’ll add them in).”
posted by Fizz (11 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 
"Amy Tan's Lonely, 'Pixel-by-Pixel' Writing Method": "I’ve found that the way to capture the truth of a character—and beyond that, to reflect the truth of how I feel—is to write microscopically. To focus on all the tiny details that, together, make sense of character. Each person’s perspective is absolutely unique; my job is to unearth all the specific events and associations that form an individual consciousness. It’s not enough to show how someone behaves in a single moment—I want to provide the whole history and context that informs each action."
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:07 AM on May 8


SAMUEL DELANY.
posted by homerica at 8:10 AM on May 8 [8 favorites]


Yep, homerica, I just dug up their contact form and mentioned Delany, as well as Nisi Shawl.
posted by ursus_comiter at 8:54 AM on May 8 [1 favorite]


Hey! Neil's a friend and thoughtful, hardworking, and talented writer. Glad to see one of his efforts noticed here, and I know he'd be glad to have pointers to add to this catalog.

Also, he's on a very short list of people I know personally whose poetry I would recommend highly, his two recent books Babbage's Dream and Leviathan in particular if you're interested computing technology (and some of its inventors) as a humanity.
posted by weston at 2:07 PM on May 8 [1 favorite]


Love this so much. Archives as politics!
posted by spamandkimchi at 2:31 PM on May 8


thanks for sharing this! i am excited to read off this list and dig around in de-canon in general.
posted by nixon's meatloaf at 3:32 PM on May 8


Last weekend, I finished my Masters in a writing program. I just sent this link to the the department chair. Thanks!
posted by Ruki at 4:58 PM on May 8


This is so great!! I'm really embarrassed to admit that I never noticed this until recently. I was listening to a Fresh Air interview with the writer and director of Moonlight, which is an artistically amazing film. Almost every single question was some variation on "X plot point - did that happen to you?" It was jaw-dropping. And maddening as a fan of the film - they made so many interesting creative choices and I would really have loved to hear more about those. As it was, it felt pretty gross.
posted by lunasol at 5:33 PM on May 8


A couple weeks ago I was thinking about how Junot Diaz often comments on the fact he’s almost never asked to speak about craft, and instead always is asked to talk about race, identity, and the immigrant experience.

I get that this is probably a drag on all of the writers it affects, but for Junot Díaz especially it's just nuts! The guy is like 80% craft! Not that his life isn't interesting or whatever but you read him for the first-person operatics.
posted by grobstein at 7:38 PM on May 8


Like Philip Roth!
posted by grobstein at 7:39 PM on May 8


I find the interviews in the Paris Review to be really excellent for this.
Examples: Ishamel Reed, Claudia Rankine and, of course, Samuel Delany.
posted by thebots at 10:05 PM on May 8 [4 favorites]


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