Hang on through the background, this is a good, hopeful post!!
Margaret Atwood in her prime…
She wasn’t the first writer that made me want to write. When I was young I loved Taylor Caldwell (Captains and Kings). She wrote mostly historical fiction and she was brilliant, and an oddity, a conservative writer. Later, it was clear the most compelling writers were all liberals (as were most of my mentors), and I read everything Margaret Atwood wrote. There were a host of writers I soon loved (Tom McGuane, Jim Harrison, Louise Erdrich, Jack Driscoll, Joyce Carol Oates to name a few) but their political views which came through loud and clear didn’t dissuade me from being fascinated at their talent and interested in their points of view. Of course, that was before my publisher excommunicated me at Wayne State University once they found out I was a libertarian. Progressives have completely taken over literary presses and they will publish no other thought–they will not only not publish you, they will erase you. The editors unfriended me and literally refused to even answer an email or phone call about my latest submission they had claimed to be eager to read! (My views came through in the project.)
If you’ve been following my blog, you know how upset I am about this censorship at universities. You also know I was an adjunct English Professor at Northern Michigan University for 8 years. The professors are 90% liberal at most universities, not something new (I don’t have the exact statistic, but it’s close), teach students what to think and not how to think. And I was attacked unmercifully at Northern for suggesting that the university should not take a political opinion of any kind, called an “anti-intellectual–too bad I was a teacher”–by the acting head of the department at the time. When my son got testicular cancer, they removed me from my spot in line for not completing my self-evaluation on time–instead of informing me of the issue. With that going on and my father needing more care, it seemed too much trouble to fight them. They did this kind of thing to another adjunct they wanted out.
So if you’ve been reading my blog you know how upset I am at this totalitarian thinking and censorship, this cancelling of anyone who doesn’t agree with them. (Not everyone does this, but it’s being done to such a large degree it should upset all writers and civil libertarians.)
And I’m happy to say, it HAS upset some of them. They have published an open letter in Harpers and I was so relieved to see this. They are described as “moderate liberals” and I don’t know who a lot of them are, but I know several of the writers. Margaret Atwood’s name jumps out early and I couldn’t have been happier to see it. J.K. Rowling is there, Jeffrey Eugenides, Martin Amis. Many people I don’t recognize, of course. But I was feeling so terrified, this letter came as a complete relief to me.
Of course, they say a few things about the right that I don’t think is true regarding this subject, but that is probably a good Rogerian tactic, persuading a left audience that won’t be automatically receptive to this message, as it’s clear who this letter is addressed to. It gives me hope and I attach the link here. Give it a read. “A Letter on Justice and Open Debate:”
Also, I have family arriving tomorrow, a funeral to attend, and a closing on the sale of our last rental house. So you won’t see me for a few days.
Happy Thursday. Posts on race, diet, health statistics, and some writing excerpts later this week. I’ll be thinking of you. Talk to me in the meantime.