Sporadic Commentary: The Latina Label

I'm not going to claim I don't know what's going on out there (despite ample evidence to the contrary on this blog and my site) but I've made the conscious effort to keep my web world as strife free as possible. I do have opinions, pretty strong ones, but I share them with people I know and who ask for them. And, surprise, people rarely ask and since I'm already trying to force my fiction down people's throats I'm smart enough not to overplay my hand.

Still, it's been pretty interesting to read about the brouhaha between Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez and Linda Nieves-Powell about the whole Latina writer label. (Check out MediaBistro's GalleyCat for a rundown and links.) Things have been blogged and blogged some more and we're still no closer to resolving this whole issue--how Latina does a Latina have to be to write Latina themed fiction and does it even matter if the writer and the characters are Latinas.

I've been very up front that I want to poise my work as commercial women's fiction featuring Latina characters and Asians and gays and whites and a whole other rainbow of people and personalities. I write about what I know, see and imagine. That's my job.

So whose in the right? I don't know or maybe I just don't want to spare the brain power on trying to come up with a pithy answer that won't piss anyone off. I do know, though, who I am and that comes through in my writing. If people want to call me a fiction writer or a Latina writer, that's up to them. At least they'll always get one part right.

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