It’s hard to miss the point that was made last night. The point was, as David Remnick wrote in The New Yorker, that the Other is not equal, not welcome, and, maybe, not safe. That point is devastating and it has been taken very personally. Worse, for many, it might feel like it’s true. After all, it’s difficult to keep resisting an idea when that idea finds so many fresh and insidiously inventive ways to make you aware of its existence.
But then again, regardless of the outcome, even if the outcome wasn’t profoundly demoralising, even if it was encouraging, the work would have to continue anyway. The work is and was always there. Roxane Gay worked. In the moment her work took the form of a piece called The Audacity Of Hopelessness, reminding us that audacity is never more vital than in the face of hopelessness. Roxane Gay is the first black woman to be a lead writer for Marvel. Her first comic, Black Panther: World Of Wakanda is a story about two female warriors, women of colour, who fight for their nation while falling in love with each other. It’s a beautiful twist of timing that World Of Wakanda was published today, the morning after, when the work is more important than ever. Click here to read about Roxane’s vision for her work and where she took inspiration.
Earlier this week, Madeleine Thien won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, honouring the best in Canadian literature, for her novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing. The book was also shortlisted for the Man Booker. Last month, Madeleine wrote about the writer’s life in Maclean’s; it’s a perspective that I think we can all relate to, especially now:
“Writers know there is never such a thing as arrival. Only delays and onward journeys, connections, the bending of flight, time and movement, which is also a way of describing the imagination, which brings us to places we weren’t given at birth.”
The work will get us to those places, the work will get us what we weren’t given at birth. So let’s keep working. Thanks for joining me here at my work and letting me accompany you at yours.
Yours in gossip,