On being a writer of color


Journalist and writer Zahir Janmohamed pens a brilliant piece in Guernica about being a writer of color:

I wanted to tell them that if being a writer is to endure loneliness then being a writer of color in America is to suffer banishment: the only boat off this island often being if I write a certain kind of story in a certain kind of way for a certain kind of audience, which is to say—and we do not say these words enough—for a white audience.

Read more, here.

Are you a writer of color? Meet your writing family at VONA Voices, here.

3 Comments on “On being a writer of color”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Right now, anything related to Pakistan is what publishers are looking for. I’ve heard many talk about how easy it is to get a book or article published (or multiple), even if it sucks, if you’re writing about Pakistan. It makes for a lot of crap out there.

    People also like reading about “other-ness”. This is probably why they’re trying to shove the Muslim angle down your throat, even if it doesn’t have much to do with your topic.

    The writers you are talking to might be looking at it from a selling perspective, and that’s why they’re telling you to write a certain kind of story a certain kind of way. Sorry you have to hear it.

    • Dear Anon. I think you are right! It’s all about what stories are selling and not what the subject matter is – for the Publishing Houses it’s all about Profit!

  2. […] In Guernica, writer Zahir Janmohamed reflects on being a writer of color (via the blog Love, Inshallah): […]