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Old 01-28-2020, 11:27 AM
 
Location: East Coast
3,822 posts, read 2,347,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark S. View Post
In this case, I think the One Reason is pretty clear:
They lobbied Oprah to pick it, as they do all of her picks. The big question is why this one?
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Old 01-28-2020, 11:29 AM
 
Location: East Coast
3,822 posts, read 2,347,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunluvver2 View Post
Hey People the KEYWORD is : FICTION. I remeber reading abook by David Brin (?) a few years ago that was written from the perspective of a dolphin. Obviously fiction?
This totally misses the point and shows a lack of understanding of the issue at hand. If you aren't bothered by it and want to read it, go right ahead.
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Old 01-28-2020, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Maine
18,199 posts, read 22,116,558 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagoliz View Post
They lobbied Oprah to pick it, as they do all of her picks. The big question is why this one?
Who knows? I am usually baffled by Oprah's taste in books.
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Old 01-28-2020, 01:04 PM
 
3,150 posts, read 6,769,645 times
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The NPR show "1A" featured this book and the controversy surrounding it on an episode this week.

https://www.npr.org/2020/01/27/80009...and-authorship

In addition to digging in to what makes this book stand out for all the wrong reasons, the show goes into some interesting background on the publishing industry and how authors can and should work to address representation.
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Old 02-04-2020, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,336 posts, read 28,432,199 times
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I have no interest in reading this book (unrelated to the strife about it), but found this New York Times blurb interesting: "The publisher of “American Dirt” canceled the novel’s book tour, citing security concerns."
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Old 02-04-2020, 05:30 PM
 
Location: East Coast
3,822 posts, read 2,347,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnMTL View Post
I have no interest in reading this book (unrelated to the strife about it), but found this New York Times blurb interesting: "The publisher of “American Dirt” canceled the novel’s book tour, citing security concerns."
I do not believe there were any actual threats or that there was any kind of valid security concerns. I would bet almost anything the author didn't want to be out there and subject to any sort of difficult questions or criticisms.
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Old 02-04-2020, 05:34 PM
 
Location: East Coast
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At the end of the day, this review, almost more than anything, would make me not want to read it. I had read a previous book the author wrote and did not think it was very good. But this NYT review basically says, that it's just a bad book. She's basically just not a very good novelist.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/17/b...e-cummins.html
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Old 02-04-2020, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,336 posts, read 28,432,199 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagoliz View Post
I do not believe there were any actual threats or that there was any kind of valid security concerns. I would bet almost anything the author didn't want to be out there and subject to any sort of difficult questions or criticisms.
I absolutely agree with you.
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Old 02-05-2020, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Maine
18,199 posts, read 22,116,558 times
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https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/...oorly-received

Quote:
JANUARY 31, 2020
AS A 28-YEAR-OLD LATINO, I’M SHOCKED MY NEW NOVEL, MEMOIRS OF A MIDDLE-AGED WHITE LADY, HAS BEEN SO POORLY RECEIVED
by CARLOS GREAVES

With all of the controversy surrounding my new novel, Memoirs of a Middle-Aged White Lady, I wanted to take a moment to set the record straight about my intentions with this book, and to express my complete shock and disappointment at its poor reception.

When I set out to write this novel, which takes place in Iowa and centers around 46-year-old Meradyth Spensir and her 8-year-old son Chab, my goal was to shed light on the struggles that white middle-aged women in America face — struggles that I, a 28-year-old Latino man, don’t know much about but I would imagine are pretty tough. And as far as I’m concerned, I freaking nailed it.

"This is not a book to simply read in total and digest--yes, do that--but it is also a work to return to in parts whenever necessary. It's a book to ingest like medicine."
—Rion Scott

For starters, my publisher, who also happens to be Latino, absolutely loved it, along with everyone else I have sent copies of the book to. Ricky Martin called it “a literary triumph.” Antonio Banderas wrote, “Carlos writes about being white and middle-aged and a woman the way nobody else in America can.” And David Ortiz said, “This novel is so totally authentic. I simply loved it,” before adding it to his Big Papi’s Big Reads Book Club. I didn’t send copies of the book to any middle-aged white women because 1) I don’t know any, and 2) I figured that, if Latino men like it, then surely it will resonate with white middle-aged women as well. That seemed like a given.

Many critics are complaining that I am appropriating white woman culture with this novel. Look, am I a middle-aged white woman? No. But did I interview dozens of middle-aged white women to learn about their struggles and experiences? Also no. What I did do, though, was watch three episodes of Desperate Housewives and drink an entire glass of wine, which I think most people would agree is more than enough research.

As for the so-called “woeful inaccuracies” in my book, let me just quickly address the main ones:

-- Yes, I opened the novel with a quote by the author Ludmilla Petrushevskaya. And yes, I realize she’s Russian, not American, but I think most readers will agree that Russian and American cultures are similar enough that the quote is still appropriate.

-- Throughout the novel, I describe Pottery Barn as being a barn where they sell pottery, which apparently is not the case. I maintain that if they didn’t want people thinking that’s what their store was, then they shouldn’t have called it that.

-- The name Chab was not a typo. There are plenty of 8-year-old white American boys named Chab. I googled it.

-- Some critics have said that making almost every single main character a white middle-aged stay-at-home mom on the school PTA whose favorite TV show is reruns of Friday Night Lights is stereotypical. Well, stereotypes exist for a reason.

-- Regarding the line “Meradyth breathed in the fresh, Rocky Mountain Iowa air,” I simply got Iowa and Utah confused, because both states have four letters and a ton of white people. That mistake could have happened to anyone.

-- Lastly, I realize now that menopause is not, in fact, the time in an older woman’s life when she takes a short break from dating men. That one was on me.

Despite these minor cultural inaccuracies, I still think Memoirs of a Middle-Aged White Lady captures the essence of what it means to be a middle-aged white woman in America. I admit that, when the idea first came to me, I was worried that, as a non-woman, a non-white person, and a non-middle-aged person, I wouldn’t be able to do this story justice. But the question I kept asking myself was: if not me, then who? Who was going to write about the middle-aged white woman experience in this country? Middle-aged white women? Can middle-aged white women even type? I’m seriously asking this because, again, I didn’t actually talk to any when I was working on this novel, so I would genuinely like to know.
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:13 AM
 
3,150 posts, read 6,769,645 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark S. View Post
I'm dying. This is the most delicious way of driving home the point. Thanks for sharing!
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