A Writer’s Double Jeopardy

Yatmaht Jih Yatmaht, Nohmaih Jih Muhksat: One thing is controlled by another (lit. meaning of the last part is “glutinous rice can kill wood louse”).

Chinese people believe that nothing remains uncontrollable.  The five different elements in the world (gold, water, wood, fire, and earth) can be influenced by each other.  A circular path often unfolds: a metal axe chops down wood, a tree grasps the earth, a dirt dam prevents flooding, water extinguishes fire, and heat shapes metal into tools again.

Like the five elements, publishing can be affected by various outside factors, including statistics.  Jennifer Weiner has highlighted the differences in the coverage between men and women writers.  I felt shocked when I discovered the gender inequality she received even as a best-selling author.  Please review her Book Expo America Blogger keynote address on Jennifer’s blog for more details.  An article by Roxane Gay also discusses the under-representation of people of color.  Look at the chart detailing the books reviewed by The New York Times by race/ethnicity in 2011 to see what I mean. 

I face double jeopardy with both race and gender conspiring against me.  I’m looking forward to outsmarting the numbers, though.  Who else is with me?

p.s. I’m switching to English post titles that express my main idea while keeping the interesting Chinese phrases in the body of the message.

Sailouh- The Power of Words
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