To Write — All Writing is Political

The following is an excerpt from the essay To Write on The James Franco Review.

The site does not appear to allow reblogging, or we would have.

But to show up is a political act. To write is a political act. To question is a political act. If I have found no other answers, I have those certainties, and it is that which grounds me as a writer and editor. The great myth of this country has been that there has been one static, unassailable narrative, one righteous and unbending truth. I now know that as artists, we destabilize that. We ask questions, of others and of ourselves. We create opportunities for others to ask questions. We tell different stories—some overtly political, others less so, many intensely personal—and insist on their inherent value. We show that not only are our voices rightfully part of the narrative of America—we are the narrative, in all of our bewildered, enraged, tragic, hilarious, glorious, divergent truths.

Karissa Chen is the author of the chapbook OF BIRDS AND LOVERS (Corgi Snorkel Press 2013).

It’s an excellent essay, whether or not you are consciously aware of the political subtext in your own writing, or in writing generally.

The author of Fifty Shade of Grey was probably not consciously aware of the political subtext of her “adaptation” her own Twilight fanfiction, or even of Twilight itself, yet the book is overtly anti-feminist, a blatant endorsement of income inequality and classism,  and, ironically, an indictment of BDSM, which it ostensibly celebrates — depicting it as dangerous, emotionally manipulative, and as a means of gaining complete control over another human being (in true BDSM, the submissive is always the party in control in the relationship. When this isn’t the case, it isn’t BDSM but sadistic abuse).

The history of Fifty Shades of Grey from Twilight fanfic to international bestseller is pretty amusing if you are interested.

An even more amusing fanfic to bestseller saga is that of the Young Adult series, Mortal Instruments, intrigue and plagiarism and a homoerotic relationship between Malfoy and Harry.

You really can’t ask for more than that.

The difference between writers who are consciously aware of the fact that what they write is political and those who are not, might simply be a function of whether or not they are readers who require verisimilitude in their fiction (regardless of genre and setting).

-k-

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To Thee is This World Given, Book One of the Quinquennium

Three years after the day the world reset, when the dead stopped being dead, a man, a woman, two dogs, and a cat, cross paths on rural road littered with desiccated corpses. When the man chases the woman into the woods he links their fates for the next twenty-four hours. What each wants, where each is going, and whether either can be trusted will play out against a vivid, evocative backdrop and the ever present menace of the undead.

To Thee is This World Given is the first of a planned quintet of novellas by Khel Milam highlighting four characters as they cope with and adapt to a post-apocalyptic world. It is the only one of the five books in the Quinquennium series in which all four human characters appear together. Chronologically, it takes place between books four and five.

At just over 100 pages, this understated, thoughtfully composed novella’s steady, unrelenting pace shifts seamlessly from overt to subtle tension, creating a slow burn that holds the reader’s attention from start to finish. Its fluid, effortless prose is always driving forward with no extraneous motion.

What People are saying about To Thee is This World Given:

“A rare gem…a measured, well written…philosophical perspective on the end of the world.” Dom Mossiah, Dom on Wrting 

“Extremely well written — the prose is descriptive and interesting. The characters are memorable.” Ed Morawski, author of over 20 books

“Extremely well written. Milam really knows how to paint a picture with words.” RachaelReads TTITWG page

To Thee is This World Given is brilliantly imagined, expertly told, and hard to put down.

About the author:

Khel grew up in Texas in the 1980s, but has lived in South Florida on and off for the past 20 years. Degrees in Anthropology and Philosophy and Law greatly influence her writing, as does her admiration for the works of John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Dennis Johnson, and Jorge Luis Borges. Despite having intended on being a writer since high school, life seemed to always get in the way. And so, when finally given the opportunity to pursue writing full time, she took it, and her first book, To Thee is This World Given, was released the following year.

Read the first chapter 
Buy A copy now — Amazon     Barnes & Noble  

 

To Thee Is This World Given, Khel Milam, Eponym ISBN 978-0-9862625-1-7 (hb) US $16.95 / 978-0-9862625-0-0 (pb)  US $9.95 / 978-0-9862625-2-4 (Kindle/Mobi) US $2.99 / 978-0-09862625-3-1 (Nook /ePub) US $2.99