Tag Archives: identity politics

Writing and Cultural Appropriation

Posted by Joshua DeJoy, GD Creative Nonfiction Reader for 5.1

Lionel Shriver photo by Daniel Seed for The Guardian - Writing and Cultural Appropriation

Lionel Shriver photo by Daniel Seed for The Guardian

Can fiction authors write outside of their own experiences? To ask the question is to answer it: Of course! It’s fiction, isn’t it? 

At least, that’s what American-born novelist Lionel Shriver argued at the Brisbane Writers Festival on September 8 in her keynote address, “Fiction and Identity Politics,” which deals extensively with the concept of cultural appropriation.  I think her speech is worth reading in full, but I’ll attempt to summarize it: fiction writers have to use experiences outside of their own in order to write compelling fiction. “This is a disrespectful vocation by its nature—prying, voyeuristic, kleptomaniacal, and presumptuous. And that is fiction writing at its best,” Shriver says. Continue reading

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