I think it is important for the art that you consume to reflect yourself. Lately I have been trying to justify to others why I have been reading books and collections from minority and immigrant authors.
I feel like it helps as a transplant when you can find yourself and see mirrored experiences of your life in what you read, what you listen to.
I had a difficult time accepting the overall message of the books I read from authors who did not reflect anything I could relate to. As a Trinidadian, born Guyanese parents now living in New York it was rough reading classic American literature.
I felt alienated. Not only as a reader but as an aspiring writer. It took me finding VS Naipaul for me to feel like I had come home after a long day’s work.
Reading got better the more I found diverse authors. I no longer feel like stories like mine were not worth telling or that they were never told. I also make it a point to seek out International authors and support their work. I purchase their books and I show up for signing events.
I hope that as a writer I hope to tell stories that aren’t often told and I hope I can do it justice.