Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Quotable Sherman Alexie



I can't believe I forgot to blog about this, but this goes way back to the Skagit River Poetry Festival.

It was a comment Sherman Alexie made that he said got him into trouble, but he stands by it. An interviewer once asked him who he wrote for and he said, "College-educated white women because they are ones who buy books."  Apparently this comment caused a bit of a brouhaha.

But at the reading in Skagit he said this is what he believes because these are the people who make up "literary audience.  If you're not appealing to them, you have no career whatsoever."  He said, "Saying that caused a controversy, but they (college-educated white women) are the ones who will cross boundaries."

I thought this was an interesting comment by him.  He believes 70% of all literary audiences are made up by this demographic.  

Sitting in the audience, I looked around and what did I see-- a group of white women who most likely had degrees.  He even pointed out our audience as well, saying there weren't as many men in attendance at the reading.

I made a point to write down that quote because I knew Jeannine Hall Gailey would love to hear that since she has been saying this since I first met her.  

So I'm curious, do you think this is true?  Do more women or men buy books?  Do more women or men buy poetry books?  Does it matter?   
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