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Letter to Councilman LaBonge
Real People as Fictional Characters
Female Actors, Part Two
One Culture Hero Award
Adelante Gay Pride Gala
Best Work of Fiction?
Tom of Finland: Sexual Liberator or Enslaver
Lying Writers
Review of The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson
Promiscuous Thoughts
A Crime of the Heart
A Letter to Michael Silverblatt
"Have you no decency, sir?"
Political Incorrectness: Female Actors and Trojans
He Hugged Moms and Dads
What is a Girly Man?
Review of Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
From Sunset Boulevard to Mulholland Drive
The Gay Mammies
A Writer Protests
Review of Beyond Paradise: The Life of Ramon Novarro
A Spirit Preserved in 'Amber'
The Supreme Court Case
Review of Live from Golgotha: The Gospel According to Gore Vidal
Review of Lost Years: A Memoir 1945-1951 by Christopher Isherwood
Review of Out For Good
Review of Hoyt Street: an Autobiography
Review of Sergei Eisenstein: A Life in Conflict.
Review of Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation
Review of Whores for Gloria
Muscles and Mascara
Review of "Blonde"
Brother Paul, Sister Jan, Brother Hinn, God and the Folks
Advice to the Next Generation
Sins of the Fathers
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A Writer Protests

January 20, 1992

Ms. Rebecca Pepper Sinkler
Editor, New York Times Book Review
119 West 43rd Street
New York, New York 10036-3959

Ms. Sinkler:

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.

Your careless 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.)

"The 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.

I protest 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.


John Rechy

Encl: Xerox 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."

   

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