At the same time, I probably am more plagued than most of my contemporaries with the feeling that fiction writing is selfish. I’m not sure what I’m contributing to. That’s different from being didactic. You can’t make a useful contribution by being didactic because the novel will be dead. But do I want my work to be culture shifting? The answer is yes. I need to feel I have made society less restrictive in some way, that I have promoted understanding, that I have provided a place of reflection that has enabled people to become more thoughtful. I do think that’s a manifestation of an interdependent orientation

Gish Jen
Blog

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