Whenever we, as members of a literary community, pat ourselves on the back for letting Toni Morrison and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Ta-Nehisi Coates write and sell books, we’re eliding the huge obstacles we still fling in front of writers from marginalized groups at every turn. How many potential Morrisons and Adichies never published a single book because their queries were met with a particularly skeptical eye and brushed off with a cold dismissal?
Unlike Kevin Morris, such writers are unlikely to be rescued by a chance encounter with a powerful publisher at a book party thrown by a famous friend. Unlike “George,” they’re unlikely to be given a generous, engaged reading and the opportunity to prove they have the chops to finish a great novel.
It turns out that, just as everyone but Michael Wolff sort of suspected, white men still hold all the cards in the literary world. Kevin Morris’ White Man’s Problems, for its part, will soon have an audio book voiced by stars such as Matthew McConaughey. Of course, there’s no more pleasant position than keeping all the advantages while claiming martyrdom and marginalization. But this time, white men of literature, we definitely see what you’re up to.
[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]
2 thoughts on “Claire Fallon’s Can We Stop Pretending The Publishing Industry Is Fair Now?”
Most agents seem to be female and women run many of the large establishments.
There may be more women gatekeepers, but they aren’t treating the other women they let in as they do the men.