it’s ok if you’ve never read a novel by a white man


the other day, a friend of mine told me that they’ve never read a novel by ernest hemingway. “i feel super ashamed that i’m even admitting this to you” my friend said “i should’ve totally read one of his novels by now.” i tried to assure this friend that this was nbd but they continued going on and on about how not reading hemingway made them a pariah in the eyes of the literature elite. my friend is not alone. there are millions of people that haven’t read a novel by hemingway who walk around in shame holding in their secret. either that or they lie about reading one of his novels to someone who is super into hemingway. “of course i’ve read hemingway. if you’ve haven’t read hemingway, you shouldn’t be calling yourself a bibliophile” this person says while secretly feeling disgusted by their lack of hemingway knowledge.

to those people who haven’t read hemingway or any other novel by a white man, i recommend that you pat yourself on the back. in this day and age where novels by white men reign supreme, it’s refreshing that you have chosen to buck the trend and read novels by individuals who aren’t white men. you’ve read novels by asian men. you’ve read novels by black women. you’ve read novels by men and women who are definitely not white men. you are a rarity. all of your friends with lit degrees have read tons of novels by white men. they’ve read dostoevsky and faulkner and that other novel by the privileged white dude that their professor in college forced them to read. you shouldn’t feel depressed because you’ve never read anything by walt whitman. tell walt whitman to go fuck himself as you purchase a novel by a female author.

why are so many people novel shamed for not reading novels by white men who have been deceased for decades? why are we conditioned to think that the best novels are written by white men? why does jonathan franzen still not get it? these are questions that society has to begin asking in order to set new novel precedents.

in 2015, we all need to take a stance against reading white man novels. all the novels i’ve read this year have been by authors who are the opposite of what is considered a white man. don’t you want to experience what this is like? besides, there’s a plethora of prose out there for you to enjoy that is not by earnest hemingway