If you have read VS Naipaul’s recent interview posted in The Guardian, you are aware and likely perplexed, annoyed, outraged or amused by his banal comments regarding women writers, their lack of mastery in the home and in the world of letters, and the sentimental “feminine tosh” they inevitably produce.
From The Guardian: Naipaul is no stranger to criticism. In the past Naipaul has criticised India's top female authors for their "banality" on the topic he is best known for writing about, the legacy of British colonialism.
While you might stand in awe of his ability to determine the gender of a writer in two paragraphs or less, you might also find a tinge of dismay colouring the now setting sun of your once shining belief that we had in fact moved past the 19th-century in our appreciation of categories of gender.
In any case, VS Naipaul means no harm, but he has also clarified he is not a fan of the species known as the woman writer. For those who respect and love writing and literature, regardless of gender on either side of the reader-writer equation, it hurts to find a discussion of the art so reduced in nature.
There is really only one thing left to do when one’s (he)art is broken: write a love letter.
Do you have a love letter for VS Naipaul? Please see our guidelines for submission below.
Guidelines for Submission
If you have a love letter for VS Naipaul and you would like to share it, please send it as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are looking for original material not posted or published elsewhere. Please include both your real name and your pen name. Your pen name will be published with your love letter, and a cross-listing of your pen name and real name will appear on a separate page on the site.
We cannot promise to publish everything, and we will not publish violent or inappropriate content. We will, however, publish intelligent letters with intelligent content. Be they spiked with vitriol, awash with sentiment, amused to the point of disbelief, or simply bored with the same old argument, your love letters should both inform and entertain.
It should also be known that we delight in all forms of “feminine tosh,” regardless of the author’s gender.
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For submissions: firstname.lastname@example.org