Friday, June 17, 2005


Novelist Tayari Jones contributes a fascinating post here at Conversational Reading. Her publisher has chosen to market her as a "black" writer for her recent novel and set her up with an African-American publicist. Independently, Jones also hired a white publicist. And now she feels like she's on two completely different book tours.

And so I'm just wondering how it feels for you when reading to a white audience vs. a mostly Filipino/Fil-Am audience? When I read at Santa Clara University with an all-Filipina panel, the audience was quite large (there were at least 60 people—I think some of the kids had to come as part of an assignment) and predominantly white. I was intimidated at first and thought there was no way I was gonna be able to connect with them, but they were surprisingly/pleasantly receptive. Lots of people and lots of talking afterwards with lots of hand-shaking and small talk.

But I—I with the memory that (at times, unfortunately) never fails—can't recall anyone except the three Pinays who ran back to their dorm rooms to pool enough money for a single copy of the anthology. And that means something; I'm just not sure what, exactly.

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