Jane Eaton Hamilton

"I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions.” – Lillian Hellman

Category: diversity in publishing

Sarah Schulman and The Cosmopolitans

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“If a lesbian writes a book, but no man reads it, does it actually exist?” asks Marcie Bianco in Slate. “It may sound ridiculous, but this tree-falling-in-the-forest analogy will feel all too apt to lesbian authors, whose systemic exclusion from cultural recognition and mainstream success has a long history and continues apace.”

 

 

Diversity in Publishing … Not

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photo: Jane Eaton Hamilton, unknown date, Jericho Beach, Vancouver

When I became a writer, my first books were received warmly and were shortlisted for prestigious awards … then I came out and that was pretty much the end of that. Either I was a worse writer from there on in or something else was at play, something systemic, something unthinking, homophobia. I’ve gotten a lot of rejections that say something like, “Just not a good fit for our publication” or “We published a lesbian last issue and we want to diversify,” but mostly it’s just no, and no again.

I’m pretty certain my work is better now, but I am queer, and older, and disabled. I barely get read. The promising career that I was ready for never panned out, until, in January 2004, after dismal reactions to my last book of stories, I quit. I’ve been back since 2011, but the things that I hoped would be changed haven’t changed as much as the players would like to think they have.

When the gatekeepers are able-bodied, white, and straight, if you aren’t, that’s pretty much a wrap.

Here is “You Will Be Tokenized”: Speaking Out About the State of Diversity in Publishing from Brooklyn Magazine by Molly McCardle

 

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