We’re all being urged to read ‘more diverse voices’ these days, although you may have noticed that almost all of the writers you’re being told to read write in English, live in the United States or England and have been to top-tier universities. Curiously, they’re also nearly of the same currently fashionable ethnicity, and the majority of them are of the same sex, or gender if you prefer. Odder still, the stories resemble each other: nearly all are victim narratives, ‘heartbreaking’ stories of loss, oppression, repression, cruelty, violence and slavery. And there’s a bogeyman (I choose the gender deliberately here) common to all these novels too. You know who that is.
Let me state categorically, for anyone who doesn’t know my views, that I am not defending the hegemony of the white male, and welcome diverse voices, provided they are talented, and provided they are—well, diverse.