Identity and Diversity in Literature and Publishing

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The Fact About Historical Literary Fiction

As a writer of literary fiction it is significant that historical literary fiction seems invariably created by writers of a certain class for an audience predominant of that class. So, in modern times, it’s essential that I fully understand why my work is accepted in many places, but not universally.

The meaning and implications of ‘identity’ in the realm of literary fiction is a good place to start understanding what’s happening to my work. Why do some love it? Why do others ignore it as though it doesn’t even exist? Not even brave enough to offer criticism?

What is Identity?

Here’s a great definition of identity by Carlo Rovelli: “My identity comes from my own family (unique, as any family is); my friends from childhood; the cultural tribe of my youth; my scattered friends in adult life. It comes from the constellation of values, ideas, books, political dreams, cultural concerns and common purposes that were shared, nurtured and fought for; that were passed along within communities and across national boundaries. This is what makes us all: a combination of layers and intersections in a network of threads that weave humanity together in an multiform and ever-changing culture.” Carlo Rovelli – National Identity is Fake.

The Fake National Identity

Maybe I have rejected the fake national identity for my own identity. Maybe my work reflects something outside the national identity. Okay, let’s be certain about that. My work firmly rejects the fake national identity. Maybe my identity is not what I thought it was. Maybe I’m not profiting because of the lack of diversity in literature.

So what is diversity? How would you know if literature was really diverse? Kelly Schuknecht: [Diversity is when] “all people who want to see themselves represented in literature and in publishing should be equally supported in developing their voices, seizing opportunities for upward mobility and vocality, and striving to achieve their dreams.”


Kelly Schuknecht. Self-Publishing Advisor