Guest Blog: Lauren Beukes on Writing the Other

With the release of Lauren Beuke’s latest book Broken Monsters; it is a good time to repeat her guest blog on The World SF Blog

The World SF Blog

Editor’s Note: Congrats to Lauren Beukes for winning the 2011 Arthur C. Clarke Award.

Writing The Other is a sensitive topic. It should be. Not least because it’s so often been done so very, very, badly.

But the truth is that unless you’re writing autobiography, any character you write is going to be The Other.

I am not a serial killer. (Unless my multiple personalities are hiding something from me.) I am also not a 50s housewife, a parking attendant, a car-jacking reality TV star, a Ugandan email scammer, a Tokyo mecha pilot, or a future-world stubborn-as-heck gay anti-corporate activist. And even though my novelist friends Thando Mgqolozana and Zukiswa Wanner like to joke that I’m a black girl trapped in a white girl’s skin, I’m not Zoo City’s hip, fast-talking, ex-journo, ex-junkie black Joburg girl protagonist, Zinzi.

I don’t have a lot of patience for authors who…

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