The literary world in Spain is in chaos and feminists are up in arms after acclaimed female thriller novelist Carmen Mota won a prestigious book award – and the three men who secretly write under that pseudonym came up and accepted it!
They had created an entire backstory for her, done interviews as her, and “her” works had even been included in selections of feminist writings.
It’s interesting that they’re being greeted with such anger and accused of being frauds and scammers. I thought that if a man identified as a woman, that made him (sorry, her) a woman. Obviously, these three guys are extremely good at identifying as a woman. And if their books are good enough to win awards, what difference does it make who wrote them? In fact, if we can be anything we "identify" as, then doesn't that negate the entire concept of identity politics?
Recently, we’ve seen controversies in the US in which authors had contracts cancelled because they weren’t the same ethnicity as their main character, as if the job of novelist (which requires using your imagination to see life through other people’s eyes) can only be performed by someone exactly like the book's protagonist. Returning a book because you find out the author isn’t exactly who you thought is like when people loved Milli Vanilli’s album until they found out the guys on the cover didn’t really sing on it, then they demanded refunds. Did the music in the grooves somehow change for the worse? And are these award-winning books now bad just because they were written by three men instead of one woman?
Next thing you know, someone will be telling me that Mark Twain wasn’t Samuel Clemons’ real name!