Here my friend Winnie Li shares an opinion essay about the types of narratives Western publishers/platforms expect of Asians and Asian-American creatives - and how work can be perceived differently on the other side of the world. Touches upon identity and the narratives we tell.
“...I am glad my Korean publishers recognized the value of promoting an Asian American female author to Asian women readers, but our readerships shouldn’t be limited by race. It is truly a shame if Western publishers perceive a problematic gap between the race of an author and the race of a book’s intended readers—because there are readers of all ethnicities in the West, and we are all capable of empathy. And literature, after all, is meant to transcend such human particularities. As a Taiwanese American girl growing up in the U.S., I certainly identified with characters who didn’t come from a world anything like mine: Scout Finch, Holden Caulfield, Bigger Thomas. And indeed, it works the other way around. I’ve had white male readers say that reading Dark Chapter made them understand a bit better what it’s like to be a woman, who cried reading the scenes of the heroine’s experience of the criminal justice system. So if they can identify with a Taiwanese American heroine, then that’s already one step towards progress….”