Working across cultures requires openness to criticism. Image Shutterstock.
Lionel Shriver – the author of We Need to Talk About Kevin – is definitive in her thoughts about ‘sensitivity readers’ – cultural experts who check manuscripts when authors are writing outside their own cultural milieu.
Shriver has described the practice as a form of censorship. It ‘has a gagging effect,’ she said. ‘Unrelenting anguish about hurting other people’s feelings inhibits spontaneity and constipates creativity. The day my novels are sent to a sensitivity reader is the day I quit.’