The Invisible Lesbian
Challenging the myth of merit-based publishing.
Click here to read more from Slate's Fall Fiction Week.
I believe that these are the reasons that the publication of this book was so obstructed.
What has been interesting about the reception, now that The Child has been published, is that I have not received a single bad review. In fact, most of the reviews are ecstatic, the kind of appreciation that makes one blush. But not a single mainstream magazine or newspaper has reviewed the novel. Only the gay press and gay people writing for alternative media like the LA Weekly have acknowledged the existence of the book, and they have done so rhapsodically.
It's quite strange to live as two such different people at the same time every day. On one hand, I am someone who is creating literature that is needed, wanted, praised, and often adored by people whose representation is usually stopped by the kinds of obstacles I managed to overcome through sheer will. On the other hand, I don't exist.
This is frustrating, because I know that my books have a great deal to offer that is just as valuable, or more so, than work that can access the machinery of support. I just have to hope that this horrible moment is a cyclical one, and with the forthcoming change of administration, there will also be an emotional/psychological change on the part of the gatekeepers of the culture, who will open the doors just a little bit wider, so that we can at least get back to where we were 15 years ago. And finally move forward from there.
Sarah Schulman is a playwright and novelist. Her most recent book is The Child: A Novel.