Today I finished reading How Dare We! Write edited by Sherry Quan Lee. Here’s my brief review.
I very much appreciated each essayist’s very personal (and well written) sharing of experiences in childhood and adulthood related to finding their writing voice. Each was a painful journey, with racism and no place for a voice of color to be accepted at the core of the struggle. A theme of hope runs through the book. Each essayist reveals how they made their way through the challenges, still struggle but have been successful in varying degrees. Defining success by their own experiences and accomplishments rather than by the critical judgement of the predominant “white” voice of academia. They provide, in my opinion, encouragement and guidance for others struggling with same or similar issues.
I am an unpublished “new writer” of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, without an MFA or other related writing degree. I am also a white woman with an advanced degree in social work. This book has given me an “insider’s view” of the painful experiences of a diverse group of writers of color struggling to find their voices and place. Having no experience in a college writing program, I had no prior knowledge of the culture or atmosphere. Learning that they are “highly politicized spaces” and very white dominated is discouraging and disturbing. This book deserves a spot in every MFA, English, or related writing program across the U.S. and beyond.
I highly recommend How Dare We! Write for writers of color, professors, editors, publishers, and writers not “of color.” I am so glad this book found it’s way to my nightstand stack!
As always, thank you for visiting! Feel free to like, comment, share, follow my journey or re-blog as your heart and mind desire. Namaste