The internet and social media has fulfilled Marshall McLuhan’s promise of a global village, but it’s also created a reverse Big Brother culture where people stand on virtual street corners broadcasting the minutiae of their lives.
Author blogs and chat sessions such as #LitChat connect authors with readers. #LitChat provides a platform for authors to talk about their books, about the process of writing, about the journey to becoming a published author. Yet readers often want to know the story behind the story. Sometimes they even believe the author’s own story is buried amid the fiction.
Some authors are open books—their online personas reveal where they live, the names of their children, where they are vacationing, what they ate for dinner last night, and how many cavities they did nor did not have at their last dental check-up. You know their political opinions, their religious beliefs, their favorite brand of whiskey.
Last week author Joyce Carol Oates, a literary stateswoman of critical and commercial renown, drew fire for her tweeted opinions about Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood. Was she unfairly singled out because her opinions pointed to religion—specifically Islam—as anti-feminist and permissive of a rape culture?
Novelist Pam Jenoff writes in a July 5, 2013 Publisher’s Weekly essay how editors increasingly ask authors for personal stories.
“It seems that for the article to actually place well, it typically has to give insight into not just the writer’s work or views, but her life as well,” says Jenoff in the essay.
In addition to this reverse Big Brother mentality, we have the NSA spying on private citizens. Which leads to this week’s #LitChat MediaMonday topic, “How much personal information shared over social media is too much?”
Wall Street Journal, Speakeasy: July 5, 2013
Joyce Carol Oates Tweets on Egypt, Rape and Religion Draw Furor
Follow Joyce Carol Oates on Twitter: @JoyceCarolOates.
Publisher’s Weekly, Soapbox, July 5, 2013
Follow Pam Jenoff on Twitter: @PamJenoff.
Catch the conversation beginning at 4 p.m. E.T. in our dedicated #LitChat channel: www.nurph.com/litchat.