#BLAThoughtOfTheDay: What’s the deal with Lionel Shriver?

Recently, Lionel Shriver, author of We Need To Talk About Kevin, was the topic of this post by Yassmin Abdel-Magied, who walked out of Shriver’s speech — a speech which deliberately brushed aside cultural appropriation and all the problems therein.

Shriver has been a childfree voice (if her book Kevin isn’t enough to convince you to not have children, I don’t know what is), which our own views align with, and we’ve featured her on BookTuber Tuesday.

However, her response to the controversy seems to be the worst part:


Of course people can tell their stories. But if “telling your story” is the equivalent of shouting to the wind, there is inequality of platform here.

Gabbler makes some more good points here:

Indeed, when self-publishing is spoken about as the only way some diverse authors can get their voices in print, there is something wrong with the system.

I leave you with this quote from Amy Hungerford:

“Sometimes scholars will need not just to silently make their choices without acknowledging the choices forgone, but to refuse, in a reasoned and deliberate way, to read what the literary press and the literary marketplace put forward as worthy of attention. This requires a distinctly nonscholarly form of reasoning: One must decide, without reading a work, whether it is worth the time to read it or not…” [Via]

We are entering a time where we must refuse the scholarly conversation of literature–at least until the time when “scholarly conversation” can include all voices. Until that time, it’s not very objective. Which isn’t very scholarly at all.

Add an annotation:

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.