Posted on 05/31/2019 at 02:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Author John Boyne has pushed back publicly at critics of his latest book, My Brother’s Name is Jessica.

The book, which follows a boy struggling to cope with the transitioning of his sibling, elicited complaints from some activists for telling the story from the point of view of the cisgender child and for coming from a cisgender writer.

At the Hay Festival in Wales, Boyne — perhaps best known for The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas — directly addressed the latter complaint.

“I’ve always said the worst advice you can give to young writers is write about what you know,” he said, the Guardian reported.

“Write about what you don’t know. If we only write about what we know, it’s all biography.”

Boyne continued on to describe all the other characters he's written who don't share his own experience and questioned why he wasn’t allowed to write the story from the cisgender child’s perspective.

Categories: Today in Books

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