“Readers don’t want the differences to estrange them — for all their curiosity, they actually want the differences to disappear. They want to recognize themselves. This is all part of the larger paradox of fiction, where the characters must be specific enough to be anyone. In the end, the packaging may simply serve as an introduction. The true meeting takes place when the book opens, and a stranger reads about — and comprehends — a stranger.”
From a New York Times opinion piece, "Am I an 'Immigrant Writer'?"This feels like a continuation of the discussion we were having at the Charlesbridge-Primary Source event yesterday.
Thanks to Kirsten Cappy, who posted this at I'm Your Neighbor, Portland.