Sunday, January 21, 2018

This Moment in Time

I always read my fellow DSDers posts with interest, but this week something in particular struck me. About how this moment in time is seeping into everything we do, more than it ever has before in my lifetime.
Tuesday, Scott Adlerberg wrote about Haitian literature. Why choose that topic this week? Perhaps you’ve heard about a certain White House conversation where one person used profane, untrue terms and singled specific countries out for derision. Scott, in one gorgeous blog post, swept away that prejudice by pointing out the wealth of Haitian literature (and by extension, the vibrant Haitian culture) that’s out there.
On Wednesday, Holly West delved deeper into a tweet she sent that applauded her gym for turning off cable news on the TVs over the treadmills. What might once have been nothing more than a random business decision now can be interpreted as a political statement.
As for me, I’m curious about how this moment in time will seep into upcoming fiction. What’s on the shelves right now was conceived and written before the current president took office. (Many books are turned in to publishers a year before the publish date. And coming up with the idea and writing it, of course, stretch even further back than that.)
So what is being written right now? And the even more interesting question – how will it be viewed? Will a book that B.T. (before you-know-who) have been an exciting thriller about a hero stopping nuclear war now be considered a political statement? And what about the authors who are deliberately responding to the events at hand, with say, a climate change or illegal immigrant story line? How will those books play out? Will they find only a partisan audience? I hope not. One of the great things about literature is that it has the power to transport people into lives that are not like their own. It is a force for good. At this moment in time and every other moment, too.

1 comment:

Holly West said...

Great questions, Claire. It would really bother me if my inclusion of a gay character, or an immigrant, or whomever, was seen as political. Most of my writing reflects my own experiences and I don't just add people because I want to say something in particular.