Eaton Hamilton

the problem with being trans is cis people. The problem with being queer is straight people. The problem with being disabled is abled people. The problem with being Black is white people. In other words, prejudice.

Tag: The Guardian

Diversity in authors and subject matter

painting by: Eaton Hamilton 2020; woman in wheelchair

I knew diverse representation in publishing was bad, but I didn’t understand quite how bad it really was until authors divulged their advances on twitter’s #whatpublishingpaidme thread a couple years back. Even to me, who absolutely expected evidence of racism, homphobia, transphobia and ableism, it was a shock how publishing advances often had nothing to do with prior publishing success and a whole lot more to do with whether or not the author was white, able-bodied, straight and cis, and, often (still), male.

The red carpet rolls out for those folks, and not so much for the rest of us. I do maintain that most agents and publishers give lip service to wanting diverse books and authors, but in actuality they really only want to want them. They used to tell us that our stories were overloaded by the addition of queer characters and they’d suggest the protagonists be straight so as not to distract from the storyline, but now they say there’s just not an audience. What they really mean by that is that they’re not willing to give a good advance to work they’re not personally interested in, nor go to the trouble and expense of finding the book’s enthusiastic market.

I’m sick of it. It’s lasted all my literary career. All of it, over 35 years of it. You don’t know my books because of this discrimination, and that is true for thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of other artists as well.

If you build it, to quote WP Kinsella, they will come.

Here’s The Guardian discussing diversity in publishing lately:
Changing the narrative on disability: is representation in books getting better? by Lucy Webster

and here they are, recently, discussing senstivity readers:

Stop moaning about sensitivity readers – if there was diversity in publishing we wouldn’t need them, by Juno Dawson

The Sex and Death Anthology

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The Sex and Death Anthology

Annie Proulx: ‘I’ve had a life. I see how slippery things can be’

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On Annie Proulx by Lucy Rock in the Guardian. Annie Proulx published her first novel in her 50s.

“My Writing Day: Anne Enright”

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My Writing Day by Anne Enright at the Guardian.

How we come to writing

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An essay by Amy Liptrot at the Guardian on her upcoming book THE OUTRUN; a meditation on writing and healing from alcoholism.

“Then, when I returned to Orkney, I began writing a column for the wonderful Caught by the River website, which has become a focus point for the renaissance in British “nature writing”. The columns – on subjects including ambergris from sperm whales, working on the farm at lambing time and watching meteor showers – all became chapters of the book. I began to link the new things I was learning about my environment to the changes going on inside myself. The fluid dynamics of breaking waves, the lonely call of the corncrake and the unexplained tremors that shake the coastline were all areas of interest in themselves yet also became metaphors. The world was opening up through learning and experience. The columns focused on the birds, the land and the sea, yet all contained a small mention of my own story and my recovery. The warm reception I had to these – from both friends and strangers – encouraged me to see if I could write a whole book.”

“The Unbearable Too-Whiteness” of MFA programs: Junot Díaz

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I am a queer feminist author who admires the heck out of Junot Díaz’s work and who also never got an MFA–so was shielded from the fact that anyone not white and straight and male has a tough go of it in many of these programs. But I’ve experienced a lot of homophobia over my career, along with, of course, the side-lining that is ubiquitous for women writing.

Listen again to what Díaz says, folks, about racism in writing. As soon as he was published, he put together a writing workshop called The Voices of Our Nation, and now has compiled an anthology of workshop works and for which he has provided the introduction.

“…something right out of my wildest MFA dreams, where writers of colour could gather to develop our art in a safe, supportive environment. Where our ideas, critiques, concerns, our craft and, above all, our experiences would be privileged rather than marginalised; encouraged rather than ignored; discussed intelligently rather than trivialised.”

And “where our contributions were not an adjunct to Literature but its core”.

Here, as we lean hard into race relations around this globe, is the article from the Guardian, May 2014:

Junot Díaz condemns creative writing courses for ‘unbearable too-whiteness’




If you like that book and a woman wrote it, you’re a fool

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Don’t goldfinch that book, my friend. Pass it over to me because, lord knows, as someone in the more-or-less female assemblage, I bring to you my unreliable taste in all things literary. Women, you know. We can’t be trusted to read a book.

Just the fact that we enjoy or admire something is, all on its own, enough to sully achievement.

Didn’t you realize?

Read all about it in this article by Jennifer Weiner up at The Guardian.

The Guardian

Man Booker International Prize 2015 finalists

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And the winner is:  László Krasznahorkai (Hungary)

From The Guardian, introductory remarks from the ten finalist authors.  Congratulations to all.

Man Booker International Prize

  1. Alain Mabanckou (Republic of Congo)
  2. Amitav Ghosh (India)
  3. César Aira (Argentina)
  4. Fanny Howe (US)
  5. Hoda Barakat (Lebanon)
  6. László Krasznahorkai (Hungary)
  7. Marlene van Niekerk (South Africa)
  8. Mia Couto (Mozambique)
  9. Maryse Condé (Guadeloupe)
  10. Ibrahim al-Koni (Libya)

Lynda Barry: what is an image?

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I am a little Lynda Barry crazed. But no wonder. Chris Randle writes about the 60-year-old cartoonist in The Guardian.

Lynda Barry

Rewilding our language

JEHplumPhoto: Plum blossom Jane Eaton Hamilton 2015

“For decades the leading nature writer has been collecting unusual words for landscapes and natural phenomena – from aquabob to zawn. It’s a lexicon we need to cherish in an age when a junior dictionary finds room for ‘broadband’ but has no place for ‘bluebell’”  The Guardian

The Word Hoard

Tips for Writing Fiction

From the Guardian, sage words of advice:

Writers’ Tips

Think writing is a good career?

It’s not good for the average writer in the UK.

How Much They Earn



There is a certain heaven in friends’ work being well-noticed:

Madeleine Thien

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