A Stranger's Journey; Race, Identity, and Narrative Craft in Writing.

Author:Hussey, Rebecca
Position:Book review

David Mura; A STRANGER'S JOURNEY; University of Georgia Press (Nonfiction: Literary Criticism) 29.95 ISBN: 9780820353463

Byline: Rebecca Hussey

David Mura's A Stranger's Journey is a thoughtful, nuanced, necessary look at how the subject of race is handled in fiction, memoir, and the creative writing classroom.

Mura's book has two main goals: to explore questions of race and identity in writing and to present tools for effective storytelling. It is an instruction manual for writers and a call for more careful thinking, especially on the part of white readers and writers, about how racial identity is portrayed and discussed. It is also, in part, a memoir of Mura's journey as a writer.

Mura's arguments about race are powerful and convincing. Students of color who write fiction that addresses racism and injustice often get marginalized and dismissed as "too political." Mura argues, instead, that all writing is political; assuming whiteness as a norm is itself a political statement. He backs up his points with illuminating close readings of texts by writers whose handling of race disappoints and by those who more successfully capture the complexity of their characters...

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