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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Putting the reader first

“It's essential not to have an ideology, not to be a member of a political party. While the writer can have certain political views, he has to be careful not to have his hands tied” – Manuel Puig
Argentinian author Puig did not really practice what he preached, tending to be on the left-leaning side of the political spectrum and often angering those in power with the words he shared.  That activism led to some rousing good literature but also caused him to spend much of his adult life in exile.  

Born on this date in 1932, Puig is perhaps best known for his novel Kiss of the Spider Woman – which also won acclaim as both a movie and a play, the screenplay and play script also done by him.   While his writing was well received it was never in the “best seller” mode, much to his dismay, since he said he always wished to have one.  Instead, he mostly made a living translating other writers’ work.
“I write novels,” he said shortly before his death                    
 in 1990, “because there is something I don’t understand in reality.  I like to put myself in the place of those who will be reading what I write.  Whenever I write, I’m always thinking of the reader.”

Pretty good advice for any writer to heed.

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