Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Writers are liars.
Over at rgz we are chatting with Jennifer about A Northern Light. I just posted a thread to get discussion going on this quote:
"I have read so many books, and not one of them tells the truth about babies. Dickens doesn't. Oliver's mother just dies in childbirth and that's that. Bronte doesn't. Catherine Earnshaw just has her daughter and that's that. There's no blood, no sweat, no pain, no fear, no heat, no stink.
Writers are damned liars. Every single one of them."
I love this so much! And then the following passage about Minnie giving birth is incredibly real.
Certainly in 1906 writers were restrained, especially in their portrayal of women. Thankfully, we are not so inhibited today. Although there still are a few harnesses left for writing YA, and certainly many more are in place for middle grade novels.
Despite those, I have a driving aim to tell the raw truth. Truly, that was my goal for Loose Threads.
But even when we bust through barriers with publishers, we can still be held back. I was asked at a school visit for Loose Threads not to mention the word "breast" when discussing breast cancer with the fifth graders. I'm-not-kidding.
May we female writers push to tell our stories. Without one lie. To everyone who will listen.