These systemic quotas further isolate writers of color, and homogenize the publishing landscape. And this is in the general market! That considered, it behooves the general market to actively seek underrepresented writers—and indeed they are proving to have an appetite for diverse storytellers.
I wonder if she longs for all those in Mexico who remain tethered to her family tree—nieces, nephews, their children and grandchildren. She has no children of her own and reveres me as her closest descendent, the closest twig on the branch of her right arm. She doesn’t own a cell phone, nor does she own a computer to maintain contact with the extended world.
A rural sensibility, categorized by images of people and their land and the desolate and terse rhythms of a Mexico left in poverty— after promises of revolution and reform gone unfulfilled—are iconic Rulfo. With darkness and light, through silence and sound, through ghost towns shackled by a hot and barren landscape, Rulfo revisits the history of a country that aches with the pain of its people.
The competition to legitimize yourself as a published author is extreme. Publishing with an independent press insists that our stories must be told, that our prose is necessary for the world at large, no matter how small the reach may be. It is worth telling, and it is significant and doesn’t require legitimacy from big publishing to enrich its value. In a writer’s forum online, a fellow author recently said, “So many contemporary novels seem manic, agitated, escapist, goofy, fantastically un-serious, and concerned with nothing of lasting value.”
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