Saturday Creativity Quote

Brass desk lamp with green shade, desk, binder open to a printed manuscript
Leslie’s desk

“My view is that everybody can write about everything. If that’s not true, then the art of the novel ceases to exist…. If we’re in a world where only women can write about women and only people from India can write about people from India and only straight people can write about straight people, etc., then that’s the death of the art. The whole point about the novel is that you invent the world that is not, and that includes inventing people who are not like yourself. If all you can do is invent people like yourself, that’s nothing.”

– Salman Rushdie at the Frankfurt Book Fair, quoted in Shelf Awareness, 10/20/23

2 thoughts on “Saturday Creativity Quote

  1. Thanks for sharing this. We’re in a moment where #ourownvoices is huge, and I applaud it–it’s so crucial and necessary. But it makes me (as a white, straight, middle class female) a little tentative about writing characters who don’t share my labels. I don’t want to stay in my lane–I love entering the minds and hearts of people who differ from me, and writing from there. I guess what I try to do is to be careful, edit with awareness, and share my writing with people who might spot my misperceptions and mischaracterizations.

    • I think that’s the right approach. Of course we want a diverse cast in our stories, to reflect the world around us. There are many kinds of diversity as well. Do your research, show respect, and write a well-rounded character.

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