Since the launch of our “Down the Hall” campaign, a few of our Asian, Canadian, and yes, female writers have shared their perspectives on the issue with us. Ricepaper is delighted to showcase this array of thoughts and reactions, which allows for individual nuance and response.
We hope you enjoy them too, and feel free to send us your thoughts!
From Fiona Tinwei Lam:
“Gilmour’s university-level course, ‘Love, Sex and Death in Short Fiction’, might more accurately have been named ‘Horny, Aging and Male: the Short Fiction of Straight White Middle-Aged Guy-Guys Facing Mortality’. This writer/teacher represents one of a long line of men with influence and power stretching back in time who have dismissed women writers and non-white writers outright. As has already been said by so many publicly in the media, it’s ultimately his loss.
The short fiction of Alice Munro might not pass Gilmour’s narrow measurement of literary quality, but open-minded, intelligent and well-rounded readers and writers throughout the world applaud Munro’s well-deserved award of the Nobel Prize for Literature.”
From Sally Ito:
“I’ve been following the social media fracas on Gilmour; it was very lively. However, I have made no comment. A lot of feathers ruffled for sure. But nobody can read everything, and everyone has their own taste, limited, of course. I’m beginning to think that indifference to others is a kind of sin, a sin that is inherent in human nature — it’s not possible to love everybody/read everybody’s story — and I feel the sting of that everyday as a writer — can’t read everyone’s work, can’t be friends with every writer who wants a reader, can’t, can’t, can’t … and yet, one carries on still writing, still wanting readers, still wanting friends and people to say, ‘your words have meant so much to me.’ Writing is a perverse form of narcissism, I think on the worst of days, and on other days, when I’m lifted by someone’s writing, I feel it to be of the highest calling.”
From Judy Fong Bates:
“I’m writing from China where Facebook is blocked. In Canada we can access just about anything on the net and we can voice opinions that are distasteful, thoughtless,
From Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang:
I find this kind of sexism and racism so tiring, and so disheartening. I keep thinking of his students, and how many voices he is extinguishing or delaying because of his smug ignorance. All we can really do is continue to mentor, support, and love the voices of the talented women and people of colour who will rise above this systemic and casual racism, sexism, and homophobia.
NB Special thanks to Fiona Tinwei Lam for collating these comments.