Maybe it’s my age. Maybe it’s the amount of violence I’ve witnessed in white Christianity. Maybe it’s the amount of secondary violence people have inflicted on me, when I and others I know (especially women) have spoken about violence.
Maybe it’s the fact that someone in my life told me explicitly not to write about the communities I grew up in.
Probably all of the above.
But not long ago, I finally reached a point of readiness.
A few things potential readers may want to know about my next book:
- The approach I’ve taken is an auto-ethnography, which is
an autobiographical genre of academic writing that draws on and analyzes or interprets the lived experience of the author and connects researcher insights to self-identity, cultural rules and resources, communication practices, traditions, premises, symbols, rules, shared meanings, emotions, values, & larger social, cultural, and political issues.Clara E. Hill and Sarah Knox, Essentials of Autoethnography
- Violence is ugly. And this book is in many places very ugly.
People often euphemise or avoid talk about violence altogether because it presents too much of a challenge to their way of life. While at times there may be good reasons for euphemising violence, often our soft talk about violence disrespects victims of violence and gives perpetrators a pass.
- I’m angry and my writing is angry.
Perpetrators suppress anger in those they harm, as an instrument of control. Women especially are told to be nice and play nice. Evidence of this includes certain (often heavily gendered) expressions of politeness.
For many years, I carried a burden of immense false guilt because of my rage. It was only when I embraced my rage that I began to heal from it and, rather than suppressing it, channel it into productive expression. I consider this book one such productive expression, as ugly and as raw as it is.
Remember this: Anger as a response to violence and indeed all injustice is principally a vital expression of love.
No Love in War: A story of Christian Nationalism will be published by the end of May, 2023, by Mayfly Books. You can read more about the book here.
Leave a Reply