With recent films like Goat, and Moonlight, and so much pre-election discussion of the real world dangers of toxic masculinity, I felt sure that now was the right time for my debut novel, Chinese Gucci. It seemed we were finally on the verge of a meaningful cultural examination.
Post-election, though...not so much.
After the election, I stopped submitting queries to agents, and seriously considered shelving the project indefinitely. It seemed that the mindsets the book set out to indict (toxic masculinity, flippant racism, sexism, white privilege) had not only re-emerged but were once again running rampant. America's history is stained by exactly these same mindsets -- a fact that deeply compromises our nation's otherwise glorious aspiration (however imperfect) of democracy and greater equality.
In short, I didn't feel like fighting.
Hell, it didn't feel like it was a fight that, as a species, we were actually interested in winning. Humans, I think, don't actually care about the "pursuit of happiness," or "liberty, and justice for all." No, no...most just want "happiness" and "liberty" and "justice" for themselves...and maybe a few other folks they know.
And that's dogshit.
I foolishly expect better of us. So, like it or not, feel up to it or not, we have to fight. Not eventually...we have to do it now. And however that fight looks for you, embrace it, do it, push yourself beyond your comfort zone, and help out...do your part. Lock arms with those who share your vision, and stand up for the world you foolishly believe might one day exist.
To that end, I sent out another query last night. I'll keep pushing on Chinese Gucci, and everything else -- hoping to offer up something new for you all to read in 2017 and beyond.
P.S. -- For anyone interested, here's something of a sneak-peek at the kind of kid Akira (the character at the center of the novel) is. Or at least who he pretends to be...