Two things about this in today’s Times :
1. I’ve published 11 novels, only 5 are crime, a little less than half then. And I’m very happy to be called a crime writer but it’s not the only kind of writing I do.
2. “a lesbian”. Well, I don’t know that I am, solely. A lesbian is so specific. Yes of course I’m out/gay/queer/dyke/whatever word you (and I) agree suits that sexuality, but the use of the word as noun rather than adjective is incredibly limiting. It makes it sound as if that’s all I am. And none of us like to be considered just one thing. (or even just two.)
I know it’s easier for journalists to put us all in boxes. It’s very simple to call me a crime writer who is a lesbian, it’s specific, to the point, not incorrect, and puts me neatly in not one but two boxes. The problem is that I’m not very fond of boxes and I’m far less fond of the reductive noun than I am of the more inclusive adjective. None of us much like being considered any one thing.
Do check out the anthology though. That’s the juicy bit.
I am so against the whole noun and people thing I particularly hate- The Elderly, a schizophrenic, A gay. So annoying. I have no idea why so many gay people actively welcome being ‘a gay’, drives me crackers.
Ah well. Actually I have managed to completely miss everything crime related you have written, so I was mucho suprised at that bit…
A Lesbian Crime writer could also be a heterosexual man or woman who wrote exclusively about crimes commited by or against lesbians. If I was a crime writer, which I am not, and was reviewed by Times, would I be a Tall Crime Writer who by the same token might only address crimes involving felons, victims or investigators over 6′ tall…persumably because we have a different overview of life =:O/
thanks lovelies, I’m very fond of my crime novels, Alison – so do go have a look if you fancy it. I’m just a little more fond of not being pigeon-holed.
A tall crime writer. Heh.
does it really matter who you are? never worried me, but have ordered your book and can’t wait to read.
Hi Fiona, no, of course it doesn’t – or maybe shouldn’t – matter who you are as a writer, ideally it would be about the work not the person who made it (though I do understand there is an interest around the ‘who made it’ in an anthology such as this).
What matters to me is how often other people are keen to reduce me to merely my sexuality. This is something that happens almost all the time to LGBT/disabled/non-white people, and almost never to straight/white/able-bodied people :
“Tom Jones, heterosexual singer …”
“Ruth Rendell, the crime writer who is white …”
“Kate Winslet, the actor who is an able-bodied woman …”
A bit like ‘woman doctor’ or ‘male nurse’ – isn’t it time we were over such defining terms, and able to see ourselves as people first?
Totally agree, drives me nuts!! bit like how a woman is a cook and a male is a chief. oh well ya book arrived today so going to enjoy that, and OMG you brought up in NZ? amazing so many I meet who are from or living or have lived in NZ. <– Born New Zealand
A “lesbian”; it never occurred to me that you were. I only ever think of you as an interesting, multi talented/layered, fun, life loving and at times contemplating and quiet person. Perhaps I was wrong about you and shouldn’t place such restrictive views on you. In future I will remember the lesbian aspect of your person too although this does confuse me a little as I always think of you as a people loving person who happens to be in love with a woman. Still, whatever small minded things I am waffling about it doesn”t alter the fact that I enjoy all your books whatever genre they are, my favourites being Parallel Lies and The Room Of Lost Things.
thanks Fiona and Jayne.
and yes, brought up in Tokoroa, NZ. bet not many of your NZ friends are from there … !
Why does no one call you a social satirist? Espec as that would encompass all the genres you inhabit.
you just did. and I like it. thank you. x