Wednesday, June 20, 2018

H O W D A R E W E ! W R I T E

This book is about courage...Many entertainers have succeeded in the world of song, speaking directly to the spirits of men and women who see "words" as part of their lives. But writers, from one culture to the next, find that there are walls to be climbed to be an accepted, published author...

Sherry Quan Lee discussed the problem with many others and finally a publisher who suggested she write the book she wanted to read. After thinking about it, she instead suggested an anthology. How Dare We! Write, is the end result! It certainly is a must-reader for writers, as well as members from the various cultural backgrounds presented. But if you aspire to writing as a career or to express yourself fully, no matter your racial background. This book is for you too!

This non-fiction book is divided into six topic areas: Literary Gatekeepers (and other myths), The Tyranny of Grammar, Identity(ies), Personal Narratives, Rejection Not an Option, and Healing the Heart. These include 26 essays with multicultural backgrounds...All but White... No, this is not prejudice, it merely acknowledges that books for Caucasians are numerous and readily available. This is a first effort to bring personal accounts of the writing experience from those multicultural individuals who have wanted to write, but could find few books that would help start to tell their personal stories...
Writers Who Dare!

SHERRY QUAN LEE, editor of How Dare We! Write, author of Love Imagined: a mixed race memoir, Modern History Press, August 2014, How to Write a Suicide Note, Loving Healing Press 2008, and Chinese Blackbird, Asian American Renaissance, 2002, reprinted 2008 by Loving Healing Press, approaches writing as a community resource and as culturally based art of an ordinary everyday practical aesthetic. She is a Distinguished Alumni of North Hennepin Community College. She is the former Program Associate for the Split Rock Arts Program summer workshops and the Online Mentoring for Writers Program at the University of Minnesota where she also earned her MFA in Creative Writing. Quan Lee is a community instructor at Metropolitan State University, Saint Paul, Minnesota, and she facilitates community workshops at Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis, MN, and elsewhere. She was a first year, 1996, participant of Cave Canem, a writing retreat for Black poets.

How Dare We! Write
A Multicultural Creative Writing Discourse

Edited by Sherry Quan Lee

Libraries inspire a sense o belonging for me. They feel like home. Since childhood, shelves of books never judged my tastes; checking the catalogue for current library holdings and figuring out the inter-library loan systems unlocked gates I never knew were sealed. Discovering a favorite place in the library to read through the pile of books I found also brought its own rewards. The library became my sanctuary, a place where I could determine my destiny. Despite the recognition that I was often the only woman of color exploring bookshelves of texts, and the feeling that university spaces were not meant for a Mexican-American like me, the Watson library felt safe...It was in college when I learned libraries were politicized spaces... from What Would Eden say?

I find trying to review an anthology is impossible...each of the essays has much to say...each of the writers dares to say their own words...I want to share about each writer...It moves from the academic environment into Grammar, for instance. Can you imagine being forced to use proper English grammar when you are sharing a dialect or a broken-english language as an immigrant? I've read many books by individuals from different races and their use of their natural phrasing and even spelling, to me, adds greatly to the authentic voice of the author and/or the characters in the books. I've even learned to read, Gullah, the Creole language they used...I worked at it sometimes, but I was so pleased I had the opportunity to do so...

Why should America be asking writers from different races, who are now here as citizens, to ignore their heritage. Four writers speak to this issue--allowing their own identities to survive! One of the things I learned is that Native American is actually incorrect. They were indigenous to the land long before it became America...That is correct...But is that really true if we don't even treat them as fellow Americans are treated?

Yesterday, I reviewed an African American author's book, The Dark Skinned Sister. She addressed the issue of, within the African American race, individuals discriminate based on the  shade of Black... Certainly then, I was attracted to the more personal stories of how, say, mixed race individuals find their own identities. The Editor of How Dare We!, speaks to her desire to become a creative writer. Immediately she noticed there were no books about her--a Chinese Black female who grew up passing for white in Minnesota... She dared to write herself into existence!

I must admit that I was somewhat distracted while reading this book, knowing that America is now in chaos, with hatred against races different than...white... How we got to this time is really sad... What is important now is that, just as the "Me-Too" movement has begun to speak out, so, too, is it the time for each of us to write our self into existence. No matter your race--this is an important book.  Now is the time to support men and women who are looking for acceptance and an identity that they can feel  Read this book as a beginning, perhaps, of daring to Highly Recommended.


Giving Each Individual an Identify Is Important
To me...
Make it important to you...bring America
back together, neighbors loving neighbors

Dare to Listen! Dare to Read! Dare to Write!

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