Fine the Way You Are

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Homogeneity in the literary scene isn’t a recent development. Earlier this year, Junot Diaz caused a stir by branding the unbearable too-whiteness of his workshop experience. Justin Torres and Ayana Mathis couldn’t help but contribute:

“One of the characters is sort of referred to as having something like almond skin, something that would identify the character as black. There was a person in the workshop who said they had been reading happily up to that point, but then felt like they were reading a story about race — which somehow invalidated what they’d been reading up to that point. So, things like that certainly happened …”

“And make you want to pull your hair out,” Torres interjects.

“… And make you want to pull your hair out,” Mathis agrees.

Over at NPR, Lynn Neary elaborates on the situation: one of many conversations needed to set the record straight.


Bryan Washington has written for Puerto Del Sol, Ninth Letter, and Midnight Breakfast, among others; he's also the recipient of a Houstonia Fellowship. He lives around New Orleans. More from this author →