“They were like all other parents. My mother liked to feed us. My father liked to take pictures.”
from The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon
Recent news of Lionel Shriver donning a sombrero to protest identity politics in the creative-writing world reminded me of Jenny Zhang’s Buzzfeed response to white poet Michael Derrick Hudson’s use of the Chinese pen name Yi-Fen Chou to wiggle his way into a Best of American Poetry collection.
I ignored the controversy over cultural appropriation but “took” from the Zhang essay to compare and contrast her parents’ fear of a child’s future as a writer to my own parents’ feelings about my choices. [Read more →]