8 December, 2021

LitStaff Pick: Our Favorite Subversive Fiction

Chuck Wendig

When I think subversive, Chuck Wendig is the first person to come to mind. He currently has 10+ books to his name – a wonderful mixture of fiction and nonfiction, traditionally published and self-published. The first book I bought for my Kindle Fire was Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey, a book that compiles many of his blog articles about the craft of writing, editing, and promoting. I regularly read blog posts and books about writing. After awhile, it feels like everyone is giving just about the same advice, and I get tired of it all. However, Chuck Wendig’s work is always a treat. Why? I think this paragraph from his post ‘On The Subject of Being Offensive’ really explains it:

I’m okay with offending. I don’t find that traipsing too gingerly about a subject does that subject any good. I’d rather expose something for what I feel that it is rather than swaddle it in gauzy, soft-focus layers. Clearly, this blog is part of that. I’m happy to use sexual imagery or profanity — not as a means to an end but because it’s just part of the way I like to say things.”

The fact that he often uses sexual imagery and profanity, even in his self-help books, is what makes him both subversive and amusing. I haven’t read any of his fiction, though I plan on reading Blackbirds soon, but I’m certain he doesn’t hide the profanity or sexual imagery there either.

On a related note, Lolita is a subversive book I want to read one day. I’m genuinely surprised that I haven’t read more subversive books, considering my personality. My interests can be pretty questionable, and I’m working on a novel that explores prostitution, drugs, betrayal, and rape (behind all the supernatural action).

-Tiffany T. Cole

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