A writer cannot write about
every moment anyway; it would be too boring.
He says that access of black writers to the mainstream has only really happened in this century, and there is still a barrier there: "Excellence" in the work of black writers is judged by how well we write about
"being black in a white world," which is obviously only one part of our lived experience.
One thing that immediately bothered me, and that no advice could have prepared me for, was the fact that I almost always had to write about "the new," which, at the time, practically every artist in New York was desperate to establish him- or herself as.
I always felt bad for the artists, good and bad, who hadn't mastered the art of dissembling ambition: they would just blatantly get my unlisted phone number and call me up, beg me to come to their studio, write about them, anything.
So I thought, this is something I really have to write about.
Also, I'd been concerned about a trend I'd seen in publishing where black people were not getting a chance to write about black people, and black people were not written about at all.
Although I feel that anyone should be able to write about anyone--black, white, Asian, whoever.
I don't know how to quantify that in what they write about. Gloria Naylor's The Women of Brewster Place is probably a woman's book.
I'm trying to be honest in what I write about and show how that story has dynamics that are damning and redeeming for everybody.
That balance is made difficult by having a family, that balance between being out in the world and being away from it long enough to write about it.
Art writers are also mad because they don't have much good art to write about
. Actually the fact that bad art rules should be a boon to art writers, but they don't understand that.
"And it's an experience that we don't think about, or talk about or write about
I didn't know what I was going to write about
until a guy came by and said to the woman, "Remember me?" That started the man-woman aspect of the play, as though she had murdered him and he is coming back.