Statement of Support for Melissa Lucashenko
The Board of NonfictioNOW wishes to lend our support and concern to Melissa Lucashenko, the well-known Indigenous Australian prose writer, whose presence at NonfictioNOW we had been looking forward to with great anticipation. Anyone who knows Melissa knows she is a writer of uncommon strengths. Her voice is measured but powerful, her presence, a compassionate but steely force to be reckoned with. She is a writer who is always aware of her position in the world, especially in relation to others, the powerful and dispossessed, the bigots and those who struggle for social justice. As a frequent speaker against the alt right and after receiving online threats from Neo Nazis after the publication of her latest novel, she has decided reluctantly to protect herself emotionally, mentally, and physically by canceling engagements such as ours for the near future. We fully support Melissa in this and wish to add that as writers and global citizens, we should not become inured to such acts of intimidation, no matter how increasingly common they are becoming in these unfortunate times. While Melissa can’t be present among us now, we wish to encourage all attendees to read her work, to carry her presence with us through her words. You can read about her new novel Too Much Lip here, and we encourage you to purchase and read the novel, which is anchored deeply in her own personal family histories. In addition, we will make available some of her writing, (particularly nonfiction) to attendees. We hope to bring her to a NonfictioNOW conference at some future date so that we can be inspired by her and show that once a writer has committed words to the world, only our indifference can truly silence her.
Matt Bell, David Carlin, Angie Dell, Laurel Fantauzzo, Robin Hemley, Patrick Madden, Elena Passarello, Heidi Stalla, Runar Helgi Vignisson, Nicole Walker and Wendy S. Walters.