Hating Authors

The only book that I haven't ever finished is The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. We read it my senior year of high school and people repeatedly said, "If you don't know what it is to be a black man after reading this book, you'll never know." Now, reading this in a class of little white Catholic school girls, I was fairly certain that we'd never know what it was to be a black man, and from that point on, the novel and I were continuously at odds. It got to the point where my teacher actually told me to stop reading it because my negative opinions (while well thought-out and substinative) were making it impossible for anyone else to have a chance at liking the book. I wrote my paper on the first half of the novel and I haven't gone back to it since. Later that summer, I spoke on the phone with the girl who was to be my freshman year roommate and when I asked her what her favorite book was, she replied, "The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Have you read it?" One day I'll go back to it... just not any time soon. I have a similar feeling about Faulkner... I've only read As I Lay Dying and one day, I'll read A Light in August and see if he can redeem himself, but for now, I keep my distance.
The Guardian talks about the writers we hate (and how to interact with people who love the writers we hate).

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