Friday, January 31, 2020

The "woke" controversy over the novel "American Dirt"


So we now have controversy, that an author was not entitled to write about a young mother (and her kids) trying to escape a drug cartel in Mexico, because she is white?  That refers to “American Dirt” by Jeanine Cummins (400 pages, Flatiron Books, January 21, 2020).  It started out in “Oprah’s Book Club” and she had to postpone it (below).  Oh, and by the way, Ophah didn’t run for president.  Somehow the title reminds me of the movie “American Honey”.


Slate reviews the book itself, with contributor Leon Krauze, as not really depicting what a typical mother facing this situation in Mexico would be life.  The review itself is interesting, and the reader can judge for “theirself”.
  
It is bad that there would be safety concerns over “who has the right to represent a book” or wokeness in the way certain images or “motif” is thought to be “harmful” to minorities. This reminds me of the casting diversity controversy in Hollywood, because in some movies it really is important that a particular character (even in multiplicity) have a certain look.
 
Here's a NYTimes LTE, "Who gets to write fiction?"

The comments on this video of mine show that a least one visitor thinks I don't have the write to write about Mexico. 

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