Hazel Edwards, do not tell me who I cannot write about

11 February 2023

Australian author Hazel Edwards, writing for the Sydney Morning Herald:

I’m not Indigenous. I’m not Muslim. I’m not a refugee. I’m not transgender. I’m not disabled. And I’m not a hippopotamus who eats cake. But as a professional author of more than 200 books across 50 years, I’ve always used diverse characters from varied backgrounds and ages in all my stories. And as a 70-ish, white grandmother, I find this diversity is increasingly being challenged. It seems to me the prevailing literary attitude is that I must not write of other cultures in which I was not raised. The term “cultural appropriation” is being used to silence potential writers.

Not sure how popular I’ll be for saying this, but I think any respectful author who has thoroughly researched their subject matter, and takes a respectful tone, should be able to write on any topic.


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