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Tales From A Literary Bully

Tales From A Literary Bully

Last month I wrote a Goodreads review of Revealing Eden. I read the book, checked out SaveThePearls.com & concluded (not surprisingly) that the book’s premise was offensive and the writing was terrible. Of course that landed me a spot on the Stop GR Bullies blog. Some of Foyt’s fans found their way to my Twitter account & after a few rounds of “I’m not racist but…” I gave my block hand a workout and moved on. After all the book is self-published, the promo materials highlight the racism, all in all it’s a tempest in a teapot right? Right. Except now there’s an excerpt of the book running in Weird Tales & editor Mark Kaye is insisting the book is thoroughly non racist. I’m not sure why anyone would ride to the defense of Foyt’s book, especially in the age of the internet when a boycott is sure to follow as soon as the story breaks. But hey, I don’t run Weird Tales.

Mind you, Foyt’s book relies heavily on racist stereotypes (It’s like a bingo game of fuckery. Spot the Jezebel! Spot the Sapphire! Spot the Shiftless Black Man!) with more than a hint of fetishization (there’s a black man that turns into a beast, a literal beast & that’s who the protagonist falls in love with eventually, but only after she spends a significant chunk of the book in love with another black man who she thinks can overlook her white skin & save her with his penis!), and that’s just the beginning. Foyt’s protagonist frequently slips up & admits that Coal is a racist slur, but we’re supposed to think that Foyt’s fighting racism with this book? How? Meanwhile Foyt’s videos (a how to guide for blackface?!), and even her ongoing Facebook & blog posts defending her work include plenty of dog whistle racism (the much cited bit about not being sure a community of African American readers exists is just one spectacular example), but all of that apparently doesn’t matter as much as defending a bigot from the consequences of her actions. Apparently as long as Foyt claims she has good intentions we’re all supposed to ignore the execution and the impact. Turns out I’m totally willing to be a bully if that means I don’t have to pretend that bullshit is true. She can tell herself whatever lies help her sleep at night, & her defenders are welcome to join the fantasy if it pleases them. But don’t be shocked when we mock you too.

 

ETA: Looks like Weird Tales has retracted it’s support. I’ll let you read the post & decide whether or not you find the retraction genuine. Here are the screencaps of the original post.

6 comments to Tales From A Literary Bully

  • Diatryma

    You know what? If what the anti-racist reviewers need is the legitimacy of a 100% Genuine Blonde-Haired Blue-Eyed White Girl, I volunteer to read the damned thing. It is stupid that it could even be necessary, but grargh this entire thing is infuriating.

  • So… you ended up on the Stop the GR Bullies (bullying) website because you pointed out racism, huh? That’s…ironic…isn’t it? That website is ridiculous.

    I’ve never heard of this book, but it sounds like something I’d never read, anyway.

    What is wrong with people?

  • My brother gave me a year subscription to Weird Tales and it was one of the best most thoughtful gifts I’ve gotten. I was upset when the change in staff occurred but still looking forward to new issues. But this is simply not acceptable. I don’t care that there’s a retraction and a fauxpology, the current editor thinks racism is totally ok… and apparently is absolutely cool with homophobia as well as he was one of the people behind Orson Scott Card’s homophobic and weird retelling of “Hamlet.” That’s not something I want to support, and will be transferring my subscription.

  • honeydip

    I only have a few things to say about this. The book is like “I’m not racist but…” made into a fantasy novel.

    And a author could be a pedo, misogynistic douche, and kick kittens for fun and that GR Bullies site would still say “how dare you judge this author! Only critique their book!” You have to draw the line somewhere.

  • I have the book in my cue (I’ve read the first chapter just to get the gist but have other things to complete first). When I get back to it, I intend to give it a fair and objective reading despite the obvious. That said, I watched the blackface videos (good God Almighty!, what was that woman thinking???????) and have followed some of the continuing debacle behind the book online.
    In a continued effort to be completely fair to the author (hard as that is) I am so desperate to believe that she isn’t as ridiculously racist as she appears. I just keep hoping that perhaps she really did think this, this, this story was appropriate and that the black face videos (WTH?!?!?!?!?!?!) were non-inflammatory and a great idea (?).
    I do think it is telling though that someone who has been traditionally published with some success (I haven’t researched this for myself but believe I read this in another article/post) self-pubbed this tale. Could it be no one else would touch it with a ten foot pole? Just asking.
    If she is in fact a racist and knew/understood what she was doing then besides Foyt being a turd for holding these views and writing them, it saddens me immensely. I know that such racism does still exist, but I like my safe non-racist bubble. Make it go away.
    I’m inclined though to think that while she may be racist, she isn’t aware of this, else why defend her position? Many people hold racist views, and I’m not entirely mad at them about it, because the very culture of the society we live in still to a degree perpetuates these twisted morals. The important thing to me is for people to realize when they are being “racist”, ie. to be CONSCIOUS, to not say “oh, it (replace it with the word of choice, but here, let’s try blackface) doesn’t mean anything. It’s art, it’s literature and she’s making a good point about racist. Lighten up. It’s just…”
    As for being put on the Goodreads bully list. What? We can’t have an opinion?

  • [...] A friend passed on this link as we have been having a “conversation” on white authors writing about black characters – not sure if any of you have heard about the book – Revealing Eden (Save the Pearls Part One). The sister express her outrage about the book – also be sure to check out the links in her blog. http://theangryblackwoman.com/2012/08/20/tales-from-a-literary-bully/ [...]