| A Writer
Editor, New York Times Book Review
119 West 43rd Street
New York, New York 10036-3959
I am stunned
and baffled by your letter dated January 13, 1991 [sic].
You claim it is in answer to a letter from me regarding
my book The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gómez--but
I never wrote you such a letter.
action, however, goads me now to write you, protesting
your double mistreatment, first in sending me a dismissive
form letter without its having been invited, and, second,
for being the first New York Times Book Review editor
to ignore my writing since my first novel, City of
Night, was published in 1963. (I am, Ms. Sinkler,
a veteran of almost 30 years on the literary scene. As
such, I'm included in virtually every volume that explores
contemporary literature and my books are taught in universities
throughout the world.)
Miraculous Day of Amalia Gómez," my tenth
novel (about which, contrary to your letter, I never
wrote you), is about a 37-year-old Mexican-American
woman and her family in Los Angeles. It explores the lives
of a people who live amid poverty, gang-violence, bigotry,
yet still believe in miracles. In it, a woman in a sewing
sweatshop, fleeing immigration authorities, says: "It's
not difficult to become invisible when they've never really
seen us." Later, Amalia feels "invisible, as
if her life had been lived unseen and in silence filled
with unheard cries."
That the story
of these women and their families--a novel widely praised
elsewhere*--should be ignored by you puzzles me, deeply,
especially since you gratuitously underscored the fact
by sending me an "answer" to a letter I
never wrote you.
your mistreatment, Ms. Sinkler, on behalf of myself as
a serious writer, but more, on behalf of the characters
in my book, the "invisible" people you chose
to ignore, especially my Amalia.
of "answer" from Rebecca Pepper Sinkler.
*Copy of most
recent review (Dec. 22, Dallas Morning News).
*Quotations from reviews of the "Miraculous Day
of Amalia Gómez."
Back to top
Original material by John Rechy appears
frequently on these pages.