Writers & Family

Many a book has not been written on account of the writer’s fear of hurting family members in the process. Consider Jenny Zhang’s sane and sensitive response when asked about this:

Interviewer: Have any of your family members objected to the book [Sour Heart] because they felt exposed in some way?

Jenny Zhang: They haven’t. I took care to make sure—to the best I could without neutering the story—that nobody felt their privacy had been compromised. Just because I’ve chosen to make my concerns public doesn’t mean anyone I care about should be subjected to that. Even though really bad things happen to these characters, I wanted to get across that the question of who’s at fault is very hard to trace, and I hope that complicates the question of guilt and exposure. I also hope that, as a daughter, my parents know me enough to know what is my imagination and what is me saying something that I should really be saying in family therapy.

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