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What Can I Say to the ‘QAnon Mom’ Next Door?

作者:admin 2020-09-18

Credit...Christoph Niemann

I write short stories. Many of them are personal and based on real-life experiences. I’ve been publishing in literary journals for over a decade, confident that 99 percent of my acquaintances will never read a word. But now, a collection of my stories is being published as a book. The publisher has excerpted a revealing story about an ex on the book’s web page. This increases the chance that my ex and others will become aware of what I’ve written. Should I give the people involved a heads up?


Congratulations on your book! If I understand correctly, you’ve been publishing fictionalized memoir for years and have no regrets about it. If you’re like many writers, in fact, your work is urgent and important to you. So, who cares if the book’s web page makes it (slightly) more likely to be seen by those who’ve inspired you?

Writing is your art! You’re welcome to show advance copies to anyone you like. But if you haven’t for the last 10 years, why start now? Do you think Anna Wintour’s former assistant gave her a “heads up” before she published “The Devil Wears Prada”?

Is it OK to tell white people they are not “native”? I follow the Twitter account of a white woman who calls herself “a native Oaklander.” But it is the Ohlone people who are native to Oakland, and this woman claims no ties to the Ohlone. Wouldn’t it be better to say, “born and raised in Oakland,” without the appropriation?


Being careful about the words we use to describe racial and ethnic groups is important. The term “Native American” became popular in the 20th century; “Native” and “Indigenous” have also grown in usage and should be deployed according to a person’s or group’s preferences.

Lowercase “native,” a centuries-old descriptor of people or plants that hail from a particular place, only refers to geography. So while I understand what you’re saying, I think there are bigger battles to fight.

For help with your awkward situation, send a question to, to Philip Galanes on Facebook or @SocialQPhilip on Twitter.

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