Representation and Community: Alexander Chee
What is the value of representation in a society? Why consider a female president? or Asian actors in movies? or spotlight Black community leaders? It’s an important question for the United States, which is contending with structural inequities – racial, sexual, and economic – and for the rest of the world as well.
Author Alexander Chee has an answer. Diverse voices deserve a place in our society to tell stories only they can tell – and their stories are important to make sense of the world around us that is – not being made more complex – but rather has always been complex. And if you think your local community is simple and homogenous, it is not, it never was.
This is the first of two podcasts where we catch up with KEI’s Korean American Day honorees. Today, we speak with Alexander Chee. Currently an associate professor in the department of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth University, he is a journalist, essayist – and author of two novels titled Edinburgh and Queen of the Night. His most recent publication is a series of essays called “How to write an autobiography.” He was honored in this year’s Korean American Day for his accomplishments in modern American literature where he placed society’s rules and norms under a literary magnifying glass.