Tracking An Author: Francine Prose

In my continuous endeavour to watch the development of authors, this time, I looked at Francine Prose’s response to issues circulating a book called “American Heart” by Laura Moriarty. This book, as Prose puts it, “imagines a future in which Muslims are being herded into internment camps, a fact of minor importance to the novel’s white heroine, Sarah Mary, until she befriends an endangered Iranian Muslim, a professor named Sadaf.” Reviewers accused this book of perpetuating this idea of the need of white “saviorism” and other unfavorable tropes. In Prose’s response, called “The Problem with the ‘Problematic'” in the New York Review of Books, she writes that it is “undeniable that the literary voices of marginalized communities have been underrepresented in the publishing world, but the lessons of history warn us about the dangers of censorship. Unless they are written about by members of a marginalized group, the harsh realities experienced by members of that group are dismissed as stereotypical, discouraging writers from every group from describing the world as it is, rather than the world we would like” (As a disclaimer, I do not necessarily agree with this, I am simply relaying a brief summary of her article).

Putting aside the content to look more holistically at Prose as a writer, it is easy to see why she is such a reputable author. She knows what she is talking about. There are numerous hyperlinks to her sources in this one review and she interprets/construes them to her argument intelligently. As has been evidenced in my past readings of her work, she proves her mettle in being a persuasive and skilled writer. Furthermore, to be included significantly in a discussion about the worth of literature at this level proves her familiarity of the publishing industry and, subsequently, her experience.

Meghan Brody

Meghan Brody. B.A. History & Writing. LSA Senior. Aspiring librarian.

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