Writers Resist

Was interviewed by the Chicago Reader after I spoke at a Writers Resist event in Logan Square:

Other readers, including Doro Boehme of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and National Endowment for the Arts recipient Jami Nakamura Lin, committed their time onstage to recalling past horrors, domestically and abroad. Lin told the story of her ancestors who were subjugated to American internment camps, while Boehme read from the trial transcripts of White Rose, an intellectual resistance group in Nazi Germany. “I do admit that I have been this frightened about the state of the world only once before: growing up in Germany through the end of the Cold War period, situated dead center in the range of U.S. and Russian missiles,” Boehme said.

Lin’s larger ongoing project, a parabolic novel populated with Japanese folklore, responds to what happened to her family during World War II. “People wonder why I’m so obsessed with mythology, since they’re just made-up stories from long ago,” Lin said. “But myths are a reflection of a society’s fears, and myths are prevalent today. Look at our ‘postfactual’ society, filled with all this fake news. What is fake news? Myths! We’re doing the exact same thing: creating stories to demonize people who are different, to prey on fear.”

One noticeable aspect of the lineup at Speak Up/Warm Up was a lack of white men. The loaded term “identity politics” is one you won’t see embraced within this community. “That term is mostly used derisively by those who think questions of identity should be amputated from whatever issue is at hand,” Lin said.


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