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Who is the ‘Bad Art Friend?’

This article is long but fascinating. Which side are you on? It’s complicated!

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by Anonymousreply 600October 10, 2021 2:08 AM

Larson’s. Dawn Dorland clearly has a deranged need to be the center of attention.

Big takeaway from this piece, though, is that the world probably needs fewer writers.

by Anonymousreply 1October 5, 2021 8:12 PM

This article gave me hives. This sort of internecine emotional and psychological bullshit doesn't happen with men. I'm always amazed at the mountains women, especially upper middle class women can craft out of molehills. Put a bunch of rich white, or white adjacent women together and it aways devolves into this petty narcissistic navel gazing and infighting.

by Anonymousreply 2October 5, 2021 8:16 PM

Everyone in this article comes off as juvenile. They mentally never left middle school. One one hand you have an emotional vampire, attention hog who thrives on being seen as a good person(TM). On the other hand you have a duplicitous mean girl who uses private conversations in her writing to passive aggressively slam people she doesn't like. Both are shitty people.

by Anonymousreply 3October 5, 2021 8:25 PM

[quote] Put a bunch of rich white, or white adjacent women together and it aways devolves into this petty narcissistic navel gazing and infighting.

The whole premise behind The Real Housewives of Anywhere.

by Anonymousreply 4October 5, 2021 8:28 PM

R4 Which is why I think Andy Cohen is one of the most evil people of this century. He has normalized mean girl pettiness with the stamp of prestige.

by Anonymousreply 5October 5, 2021 8:33 PM

Don’t make me snatch your weave, R5!

by Anonymousreply 6October 5, 2021 8:43 PM

This article gave me an incredible sense of embarrassment - I work and operate within these types of circles (writers and artists) and almost all women in them behave like this.

by Anonymousreply 7October 5, 2021 8:45 PM

R7 Yes. I recognized both sets of behavior instantly because they are so common. What both perspectives have in common is a sense of entitlement married with a sense of victimhood. The victimhood shields them from ever having to reconcile their entitlement.

by Anonymousreply 8October 5, 2021 8:52 PM

Dawn is insufferable beyond belief. None of the people in this story were ever really her friends, because she is so obnoxiously attention seeking and fake.

But Sonya made the huge mistake of publicly (if discreetly) bullying someone who is quite obviously unhinged and obsessive about how others perceive her. Never poke a crazy creature like this.

by Anonymousreply 9October 5, 2021 8:56 PM

It’s behind a paywall.

I guess me and that poor orphan boy from Darfur will have to sit this one out.

by Anonymousreply 10October 5, 2021 8:57 PM

The idea behind Sonya’s story is excellent, because social media has enabled everyone to have a Dawn-like figure in their lives, who they keep tabs on just to eye roll about. But it is foolish in the extreme to make it obvious to Dawn that the story is about her, because Sonya is aware how insane she is!

by Anonymousreply 11October 5, 2021 8:58 PM

It’s appropriate that the whole dispute was repurposed into someone else’s opportunity to publish a long article in the NYTimes.

But, seriously, plagiarism is wrong. That’s not a confusing idea.

by Anonymousreply 12October 5, 2021 9:10 PM

Since you won’t post the article or excerpts, perhaps a little context for those of us less fortunate.

by Anonymousreply 13October 5, 2021 9:17 PM

This is like FEUD for MFA types.

by Anonymousreply 14October 5, 2021 9:20 PM

Gawker has its own take, but also sums up the story into a few sentences.

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by Anonymousreply 15October 5, 2021 9:21 PM

Ok now I’m dying to read this thing.

by Anonymousreply 16October 5, 2021 9:24 PM

I love how the evidence trail keeps digging deeper and deeper until it uncovers a bunch of private texts sent between gossipy friends, basically proving Larson as culpable.

So we chat away with friends all the time on devices about other people (especially about people like Dawson, who is insufferable), but in the backs of our minds wonder if these catty texts and chats may end up one day in court as evidence in a trial? Yikes.

by Anonymousreply 17October 5, 2021 9:27 PM

*Dorland not Dawson

by Anonymousreply 18October 5, 2021 9:29 PM

Cringe to the max. 😬

by Anonymousreply 19October 5, 2021 9:50 PM

R18 Dawson’s 20 Load Weekend was plagiarized?

by Anonymousreply 20October 5, 2021 10:11 PM

Dawn sounds needy and borderline nuts but Sonya and her mean girls sound like cunts. Celeste Ng is on Twitter today expressing great concern for Dawn’s mental but it just reads as gaslighting.

by Anonymousreply 21October 5, 2021 10:22 PM

I'd have sued if I hadn't burned to a crisp.

by Anonymousreply 22October 5, 2021 10:32 PM

Art isn't worth being cruel over unless it's incredibly good, and Larson's writing didn't sound worth it.

by Anonymousreply 23October 5, 2021 10:38 PM

Team Dawn. I was prepared to dislike her, but she doesn’t seem that bad to me. She did donate a kidney to a stranger ffs, you can’t say she didn’t walk the walk. It was very personal to her. The other one had her own clearly stated agenda, and seems to have been a bit too brazen. The mean-girl stuff does seem rather typical of women in literature/publishing from what I’ve observed.

by Anonymousreply 24October 5, 2021 10:49 PM

It’s ironic that race plays such a large role in the writing because the article itself is about class.

They were being mean to the poor girl.

Who had to give away a kidney for gods sake to get anything of the ground writing wise and they still shunned her.

Not saying I would have been best friends with her but maybe throw the girl a bone instead of being such cruel bastards.

What a lot.

by Anonymousreply 25October 5, 2021 11:10 PM

I gave a way my kidney and all I got was a lousy T-shirt!

by Anonymousreply 26October 5, 2021 11:10 PM

[quote] It’s behind a paywall.

[quote] I guess me and that poor orphan boy from Darfur will have to sit this one out.

Even the Darfur orphan knows how to bypass a paywall. You can join the other retards on the bench.

by Anonymousreply 27October 5, 2021 11:14 PM

I peeked at all the back-and-forth on Twitter. Seems lSonya’s team is pushing the “stalker/harassment” angle. I suppose it’s the best defense for their gal. That short story was such a good idea and such a bad idea at the same time.

by Anonymousreply 28October 5, 2021 11:22 PM

If social media didn’t exist as a platform on which she could be admired and congratulated, would Dawn have donated that kidney?

by Anonymousreply 29October 5, 2021 11:41 PM

This part is hilarious:

[quote] Dorland filed a counterclaim against Larson on April 24, 2020, accusing Larson of violating the copyright of her letter and intentional infliction of emotional distress — sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, weight loss “and several incidents of self-harm.” Dorland says she’d had some bouts of slapping herself, which dissipated after therapy.

by Anonymousreply 30October 6, 2021 12:07 AM

I question the weight loss part of the counterclaim, at least. And eating multiple Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Death Creampies is not legally "several incidents of self-harm."

by Anonymousreply 31October 6, 2021 12:10 AM

Both of them are playing the oppression game. They are tying to "win" by going on media campaigns to aggressively accuse the other of being a bully while they retreat into a victim stance.

by Anonymousreply 32October 6, 2021 12:20 AM

Dorland is clearly a nutcase but Larson did the equivalent of giving a suicidal person rope. And Celeste Ng is a bitch.

by Anonymousreply 33October 6, 2021 12:21 AM

R29 Exactly. Dawn donating the kidney was purely a bid for attention. The sequence of her repeatedly messaging Sonya through various methods to basically ask why she didn’t give enough Facebook likes to Dawn’s group page—that Dawn created and added people to to brag about the kidney!—was insane.

by Anonymousreply 34October 6, 2021 12:23 AM

One could argue that Dawn was simply being a public advocate for organ donation. What if you or your loved one needed a kidney?

by Anonymousreply 35October 6, 2021 12:26 AM

Didn't read and don't care but I do know that the best art is free art(or cheap)

by Anonymousreply 36October 6, 2021 12:29 AM

R34 Larson wrote hundreds of pages worths of emails being a mean spirited cunt in her nasty chunky monkey clique about it. With people like Dorland you can choose to ignore their nonsense. You don't have to write thousands of words being petty about it and then using a mentally unwell woman's story, her private email VERBATIM in your published work. That is a total cunt move.

by Anonymousreply 37October 6, 2021 12:30 AM

"This bitch is crazy, I know what I'll do, I'll use the email she sent to me in private word-for-word in my new story"

How did she expect this not to bite her in the ass?

by Anonymousreply 38October 6, 2021 12:32 AM

Funny, I attended the Rose Parade a few years back and remember the organ donation float. I probably waved at Dawn!

by Anonymousreply 39October 6, 2021 12:34 AM

Yes, agreed R37. I’ve done a much milder version of that in a text with a friend and I knew I was being an asshole at the time. But that doesn’t change the fact that Dawn is an attention-seeking nutcase.

by Anonymousreply 40October 6, 2021 12:34 AM

It is terrible to have your nasty communications made public. I once got caught talking shit about family members with another family member on a phone answering machine that accidentally recorded the conversation. Honestly I didn't even mean half the shit I was saying, I was just being a prick in the moment, for the sake of it. But people heard it and it was damning, I begged for forgiveness and it took me years to get back in decent graces. I was mortified and am sure these women are too.

It's curious to me how some are all "oh my GOD, Dawn brought the story HERSELF to the Times? How CRINGE, who DOES that!" I say - who cares? That's the sort of thing only media folk care about. She got her story out there.

by Anonymousreply 41October 6, 2021 12:43 AM

If you have a library card, you should be able to go to your library's website and access the NYT. My library requires the card number to login.

When Hurricane Ida hit, I copied and pasted a relatively short piece on tourists in NO, and I was banned from posting for a full 24 hours!

by Anonymousreply 42October 6, 2021 2:04 AM

I worked in Cambridge and because of my job knew some people associated with GrubStreet. Self-serious, self-absorbed, and living in an echo chamber. Gatherings were chiefly to hear each others’ incessant babbling. I have no doubt, absolutely none, that there was a girl gang mentality even among such urban sophisticates. Humorless too, unless, apparently, they were making fun of the weakest and most needy in the room. That Larson resorted to a white savior charge in 2018 seems right — that’s about the time the concept could be hurled with no way to rebut it. Except one — Dorland’s donation was undirected.

Tempest in a teacup. Let’s get back to the real world now.

by Anonymousreply 43October 6, 2021 2:07 AM

They're both not great. All the big blue check twitter identitarians are like.. yay plagiarism. White women are evil. No one will question us. Power.

Dawn is needy. Giving up a kidney is wild. There's no indication she was going to write about it herself but she did assume attention. If I did something like that I'd want everyone to know too or advocate for the process.

by Anonymousreply 44October 6, 2021 2:12 AM

LOL. She's defending her friend but this is so bad. Placeholder my ass, it made it to Audible. And Larson said she lifted it!

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by Anonymousreply 45October 6, 2021 2:18 AM

I didn't love any of the characters. I don't swing at identity much because I don't lean on my own. I'm still a white guy. We brush off the casual remarks about 'white women' or 'white gays' and how bad these things are. Understand the point. But somewhere in here I will notice the people doing it all have a million or 1/2 a million twitter followers and I most certainly do not.

by Anonymousreply 46October 6, 2021 2:24 AM

I know they're just playing around. I don't know. I've spent my whole life trying to be sensitive of other people and not attacking other groups because it's wrong. There's days where it's like they're working the conflict over people understanding each other. The constant refrain of categorical distinctions. We've been through all this before.

by Anonymousreply 47October 6, 2021 2:42 AM

[quote]Who is the ‘Bad Art Friend?’

The one who doesn't cut and paste the article from a paywalled site.

Tsk. Tsk.

by Anonymousreply 48October 6, 2021 2:48 AM

R47 there comes a point when certain people have enough fame, notoriety, "followers", and money when thry need to relinquish constantly painting themselves as victims in culture war battles. People like Celeste Ng viewing themselves as a marginalized POCs is getting tired and these types are revealing themselves as plain sociopaths.

by Anonymousreply 49October 6, 2021 2:56 AM

The blue checks feel questioned and attacked and debated I'm sure but they still have hundreds of thousands of followers. So sad.

by Anonymousreply 50October 6, 2021 2:57 AM

Larson's probably telling her friends she's protecting her tweets for her safety or some shit. Fuck you. Same person who talks shit in private group chats.

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by Anonymousreply 51October 6, 2021 3:06 AM

Yes, I'm aware of the women get more abuse online thing. It's just not surprising to me she's having hidden private convos with her friends as this is going down.

by Anonymousreply 52October 6, 2021 3:12 AM

The "white savior" defense that both Sonya and her friend Celeste tried to put out there doesn't work, because Dorland freely offered the kidney to whoever needed it. It could have gone to anyone. In fact it went to an orthodox Jewish man. Nice try, girls, but I for one am heartened to see that shit doesn't work as well as it once did.

by Anonymousreply 53October 6, 2021 3:19 AM

Larson could feel like the aggrieved party and there's more to the story.

by Anonymousreply 54October 6, 2021 3:19 AM

Christ, you guys made it through that whole ridiculous article?


by Anonymousreply 55October 6, 2021 3:22 AM

If she had specified she wanted her organs to go to a white person, this all could have been avoided.

by Anonymousreply 56October 6, 2021 3:26 AM

r2, you are dumb. 90% of murderers are men. Most Republicans in Congress are men. Trump is a man and he is the pettiest person on the planet. Why is it okay to attack women but not men?

by Anonymousreply 57October 6, 2021 3:26 AM

I would like to read the story, but looks like it's been scrubbed.

by Anonymousreply 58October 6, 2021 3:32 AM

For non-NYT subscribers (it's a long piece):

There is a sunny earnestness to Dawn Dorland, an un-self-conscious openness that endears her to some people and that others have found to be a little extra. Her friends call her a “feeler”: openhearted and eager, pressing to make connections with others even as, in many instances, she feels like an outsider. An essayist and aspiring novelist who has taught writing classes in Los Angeles, she is the sort of writer who, in one authorial mission statement, declares her faith in the power of fiction to “share truth,” to heal trauma, to build bridges. (“I’m compelled at funerals to shake hands with the dusty men who dig our graves,” she has written.) She is known for signing off her emails not with “All best” or “Sincerely,” but “Kindly.”

On June 24, 2015, a year after completing her M.F.A. in creative writing, Dorland did perhaps the kindest, most consequential thing she might ever do in her life. She donated one of her kidneys, and elected to do it in a slightly unusual and particularly altruistic way. As a so-called nondirected donation, her kidney was not meant for anyone in particular but instead was part of a donation chain, coordinated by surgeons to provide a kidney to a recipient who may otherwise have no other living donor. There was some risk with the procedure, of course, and a recovery to think about, and a one-kidney life to lead from that point forward. But in truth, Dorland, in her 30s at the time, had been wanting to do it for years. “As soon as I learned I could,” she told me recently, on the phone from her home in Los Angeles, where she and her husband were caring for their toddler son and elderly pit bull (and, in their spare time, volunteering at dog shelters and searching for adoptive families for feral cat litters). “It’s kind of like not overthinking love, you know?”

Several weeks before the surgery, Dorland decided to share her truth with others. She started a private Facebook group, inviting family and friends, including some fellow writers from GrubStreet, the Boston writing center where Dorland had spent many years learning her craft. After her surgery, she posted something to her group: a heartfelt letter she’d written to the final recipient of the surgical chain, whoever they may be. Personally, my childhood was marked by trauma and abuse; I didn’t have the opportunity to form secure attachments with my family of origin. A positive outcome of my early life is empathy, that it opened a well of possibility between me and strangers. While perhaps many more people would be motivated to donate an organ to a friend or family member in need, to me, the suffering of strangers is just as real. … Throughout my preparation for becoming a donor … I focused a majority of my mental energy on imagining and celebrating you.

The procedure went well. By a stroke of luck, Dorland would even get to meet the recipient, an Orthodox Jewish man, and take photos with him and his family. In time, Dorland would start posting outside the private group to all of Facebook, celebrating her one-year “kidneyversary” and appearing as a UCLA Health Laker for a Day at the Staples Center to support live-organ donation. But just after the surgery, when she checked Facebook, Dorland noticed some people she’d invited into the group hadn’t seemed to react to any of her posts. On July 20, she wrote an email to one of them: a writer named Sonya Larson.

by Anonymousreply 59October 6, 2021 3:51 AM

Larson and Dorland had met eight years earlier in Boston. They were just a few years apart in age, and for several years they ran in the same circles, hitting the same events, readings and workshops at the GrubStreet writing center. But in the years since Dorland left town, Larson had leveled up. Her short fiction was published, in Best American Short Stories and elsewhere; she took charge of GrubStreet’s annual Muse and the Marketplace literary conference, and as a mixed-race Asian American, she marshaled the group’s diversity efforts. She also joined a group of published writers that calls itself the Chunky Monkeys (a whimsical name, referring to breaking off little chunks of big projects to share with the other members). One of those writing-group members, Celeste Ng, who wrote “Little Fires Everywhere,” told me that she admires Larson’s ability to create “characters who have these big blind spots.” While they think they’re presenting themselves one way, they actually come across as something else entirely.

When it comes to literary success, the stakes can be pretty low — a fellowship or residency here, a short story published there. But it seemed as if Larson was having the sort of writing life that Dorland once dreamed of having. After many years, Dorland, still teaching, had yet to be published. But to an extent that she once had a writing community, GrubStreet was it. And Larson was, she believed, a close friend. Over email, on July 21, 2015, Larson answered Dorland’s message with a chirpy reply — “How have you been, my dear?” Dorland replied with a rundown of her next writing residencies and workshops, and as casually as possible, asked: “I think you’re aware that I donated my kidney this summer. Right?”

Only then did Larson gush: “Ah, yes — I did see on Facebook that you donated your kidney. What a tremendous thing!”

Afterward, Dorland would wonder: If she really thought it was that great, why did she need reminding that it happened?

They wouldn’t cross paths again until the following spring — a brief hello at A.W.P., the annual writing conference, where the subject of Dorland’s kidney went unmentioned. A month later, at the GrubStreet Muse conference in Boston, Dorland sensed something had shifted — not just with Larson but with various GrubStreet eminences, old friends and mentors of hers who also happened to be members of Larson’s writing group, the Chunky Monkeys. Barely anyone brought up what she’d done, even though everyone must have known she’d done it. “It was a little bit like, if you’ve been at a funeral and nobody wanted to talk about it — it just was strange to me,” she said. “I left that conference with this question: Do writers not care about my kidney donation? Which kind of confused me, because I thought I was in a community of service-oriented people.” It didn’t take long for a clue to surface. On June 24, 2016, a Facebook friend of Dorland’s named Tom Meek commented on one of Dorland’s posts. 'Sonya read a cool story about giving out a kidney. You came to my mind and I wondered if you were the source of inspiration? Still impressed you did this.'

by Anonymousreply 60October 6, 2021 3:52 AM

Dorland was confused. A year earlier, Larson could hardly be bothered to talk about it. Now, at Trident bookstore in Boston, she’d apparently read from a new short story about that very subject. Meek had tagged Larson in his comment, so Dorland thought that Larson must have seen it. She waited for Larson to chime in — to say, “Oh, yes, I’d meant to tell you, Dawn!” or something like that — but there was nothing. Why would Sonya write about it, she wondered, and not tell her?

Six days later, she decided to ask her. Much as she had a year earlier, she sent Larson a friendly email, including one pointed request: “Hey, I heard you wrote a kidney-donation story. Cool! Can I read it?”

‘I hope it doesn’t feel too weird for your gift to have inspired works of art.’

Ten days later, Larson wrote back saying that yes, she was working on a story “about a woman who receives a kidney, partially inspired by how my imagination took off after learning of your own tremendous donation.” In her writing, she spun out a scenario based not on Dorland, she said, but on something else — themes that have always fascinated her. “I hope it doesn’t feel too weird for your gift to have inspired works of art,” Larson wrote.

Dorland wrote back within hours. She admitted to being “a little surprised,” especially “since we’re friends and you hadn’t mentioned it.” The next day, Larson replied, her tone a bit removed, stressing that her story was “not about you or your particular gift, but about narrative possibilities I began thinking about.”

But Dorland pressed on. “It’s the interpersonal layer that feels off to me, Sonya. … You seemed not to be aware of my donation until I pointed it out. But if you had already kicked off your fictional project at this time, well, I think your behavior is a little deceptive. At least, weird.” Larson’s answer this time was even cooler. “Before this email exchange,” she wrote, “I hadn’t considered that my individual vocal support (or absence of it) was of much significance.”

Which, though it was shrouded in politesse, was a different point altogether. Who, Larson seemed to be saying, said we were such good friends? For many years now, Dorland has been working on a sprawling novel, “Econoline,” which interweaves a knowing, present-day perspective with vivid, sometimes brutal but often romantic remembrances of an itinerant rural childhood. The van in the title is, she writes in a recent draft, “blue as a Ty-D-Bowl tablet. Bumbling on the highway, bulky and off-kilter, a junebug in the wind.” The family in the narrative survives on “government flour, canned juice and beans” and “ruler-long bricks of lard” that the father calls “commodities.”

by Anonymousreply 61October 6, 2021 3:53 AM

Dorland is not shy about explaining how her past has afforded her a degree of moral clarity that others might not come by so easily. She was raised in near poverty in rural Iowa. Her parents moved around a lot, she told me, and the whole family lived under a stigma. One small consolation was the way her mother modeled a certain perverse self-reliance, rejecting the judgments of others. Another is how her turbulent youth has served as a wellspring for much of her writing. She made her way out of Iowa with a scholarship to Scripps College in California, followed by divinity school at Harvard. Unsure of what to do next, she worked day jobs in advertising in Boston while dabbling in workshops at the GrubStreet writing center. When she noticed classmates cooing over Marilynne Robinson’s novel “Housekeeping,” she picked up a copy. After inhaling its story of an eccentric small-town upbringing told with sensitive, all-seeing narration, she knew she wanted to become a writer.

At GrubStreet, Dorland eventually became one of several “teaching scholars” at the Muse conference, leading workshops on such topics as “Truth and Taboo: Writing Past Shame.” Dorland credits two members of the Chunky Monkeys group, Adam Stumacher and Chris Castellani, with advising her. But in hindsight, much of her GrubStreet experience is tied up with her memories of Sonya Larson. She thinks they first met at a one-off writing workshop Larson taught, though Larson, for her part, says she doesn’t remember this. Everybody at GrubStreet knew Larson — she was one of the popular, ever-present people who worked there. On nights out with other Grubbies, Dorland remembers Larson getting personal, confiding about an engagement, the death of someone she knew and plans to apply to M.F.A. programs — though Larson now says she shared such things widely. When a job at GrubStreet opened up, Larson encouraged her to apply. Even when she didn’t get it, everyone was so gracious about it, including Larson, that she felt included all the same.

Now, as she read these strained emails from Larson — about this story of a kidney donation; her kidney donation? — Dorland wondered if everyone at GrubStreet had been playing a different game, with rules she’d failed to grasp. On July 15, 2016, Dorland’s tone turned brittle, even wounded: “Here was a friend entrusting something to you, making herself vulnerable to you. At least, the conclusion I can draw from your responses is that I was mistaken to consider us the friends that I did.”

Larson didn’t answer right away. Three days later, Dorland took her frustrations to Facebook, in a blind item: “I discovered that a writer friend has based a short story on something momentous I did in my own life, without telling me or ever intending to tell me (another writer tipped me off).”

Still nothing from Larson.

Dorland waited another day and then sent her another message both in a text and in an email: “I am still surprised that you didn’t care about my personal feelings. … I wish you’d given me the benefit of the doubt that I wouldn’t interfere.” Yet again, no response.

The next day, on July 20, she wrote again: “Am I correct that you do not want to make peace? Not hearing from you sends that message.”

Larson answered this time. “I see that you’re merely expressing real hurt, and for that I am truly sorry,” she wrote on July 21. But she also changed gears a little. “I myself have seen references to my own life in others’ fiction, and it certainly felt weird at first. But I maintain that they have a right to write about what they want — as do I, and as do you.”

Hurt feelings or not, Larson was articulating an ideal — a principle she felt she and all writers ought to live up to. “For me, honoring another’s artistic freedom is a gesture of friendship,” Larson wrote, “and of trust.”

by Anonymousreply 62October 6, 2021 3:54 AM

Like Dawn Dorland, Sonya Larson understands life as an outsider. The daughter of a Chinese American mother and white father, she was brought up in a predominantly white, middle-class enclave in Minnesota, where being mixed-race sometimes confused her. “It took me a while to realize the things I was teased about were intertwined with my race,” she told me over the phone from Somerville, where she lived with her husband and baby daughter. Her dark hair, her slight build: In a short story called “Gabe Dove,” which was picked for the 2017 edition of Best American Short Stories, Larson’s protagonist is a second-generation Asian American woman named Chuntao, who is used to men putting their fingers around her wrist and remarking on how narrow they are, almost as if she were a toy, a doll, a plaything.

Larson’s path toward writing was more conventional than Dorland’s. She started earlier, after her first creative-writing class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. When she graduated, in 2005, she moved to Boston and walked into GrubStreet to volunteer the next day. Right away, she became one of a handful of people who kept the place running. In her fiction, Larson began exploring the sensitive subject matter that had always fascinated her: racial dynamics, and people caught between cultures. In time, she moved beyond mere political commentary to revel in her characters’ flaws — like a more socially responsible Philip Roth, though every bit as happy to be profane and fun and provocative. Even as she allows readers to be one step ahead of her characters, to see how they’re going astray, her writing luxuriates in the seductive power that comes from living an unmoored life. “He described thick winding streams and lush mountain gorges,” the rudderless Chuntao narrates in “Gabe Dove,” “obviously thinking I’d enjoy this window into my ancestral country, but in truth, I wanted to slap him.”

Chuntao, or a character with that name, turns up in many of Larson’s stories, as a sort of a motif — a little different each time Larson deploys her. She appears again in “The Kindest,” the story that Larson had been reading from at the Trident bookstore in 2016. Here, Chuntao is married, with an alcohol problem. A car crash precipitates the need for a new organ, and her whole family is hoping the donation will serve as a wake-up call, a chance for Chuntao to redeem herself. That’s when the donor materializes. White, wealthy and entitled, the woman who gave Chuntao her kidney is not exactly an uncomplicated altruist: She is a stranger to her own impulses, unaware of how what she considers a selfless act also contains elements of intense, unbridled narcissism.

In early drafts of the story, the donor character’s name was Dawn. In later drafts, Larson ended up changing the name to Rose. While Dorland no doubt was an inspiration, Larson argues that in its finished form, her story moved far beyond anything Dorland herself had ever said or done. But in every iteration of “The Kindest,” the donor says she wants to meet Chuntao to celebrate, to commune — only she really wants something more, something ineffable, like acknowledgment, or gratitude, or recognition, or love.

Still, they’re not so different, Rose and Chuntao. “I think they both confuse love with worship,” Larson told me. “And they both see love as something they have to go get; it doesn’t already exist inside of them.” All through “The Kindest,” love or validation operates almost like a commodity — a precious elixir that heals all pain. “The thing about the dying,” Chuntao narrates toward the end, “is they command the deepest respect, respect like an underground river resonant with primordial sounds, the kind of respect that people steal from one another.”

by Anonymousreply 63October 6, 2021 3:55 AM

They aren’t entirely equal, however. While Chuntao is the story’s flawed hero, Rose is more a subject of scrutiny — a specimen to be analyzed. The study of the hidden motives of privileged white people comes naturally to Larson. “When you’re mixed-race, as I am, people have a way of ‘confiding’ in you,” she once told an interviewer. What they say, often about race, can be at odds with how they really feel. In “The Kindest,” Chuntao sees through Rose from the start. She knows what Rose wants — to be a white savior — and she won’t give it to her. (“So she’s the kindest bitch on the planet?” she says to her husband.) By the end, we may no longer feel a need to change Chuntao. As one critic in the literary journal Ploughshares wrote when the story was published in 2017: “Something has got to be admired about someone who returns from the brink of death unchanged, steadfast in their imperfections.”

For some readers, “The Kindest” is a rope-a-dope. If you thought this story was about Chuntao’s redemption, you’re as complicit as Rose. This, of course, was entirely intentional. Just before she wrote “The Kindest,” Larson helped run a session on race in her graduate program that became strangely contentious. “Many of the writers who identified as white were quite literally seeing the racial dynamics of what we were discussing very differently from the people of color in the room,” she said. “It was as if we were just simply talking past one another, and it was scary.” At the time, she’d been fascinated by “the dress” — that internet meme with a photo some see as black and blue and others as white and gold. Nothing interests Larson more than a thing that can be seen differently by two people, and she saw now how no subject demonstrates that better than race. She wanted to write a story that was like a Rorschach test, one that might betray the reader’s own hidden biases.

When reflecting on Chuntao, Larson often comes back to the character’s autonomy, her nerve. “She resisted,” she told me. Chuntao refused to become subsumed by Rose’s narrative. “And I admire that. And I think that small acts of refusal like that are things that people of color — and writers of color — in this country have to bravely do all the time.”

Larson and Dorland have each taken and taught enough writing workshops to know that artists, almost by definition, borrow from life. They transform real people and events into something invented, because what is the great subject of art — the only subject, really — if not life itself? This was part of why Larson seemed so unmoved by Dorland’s complaints. Anyone can be inspired by anything. And if you don’t like it, why not write about it yourself?

But to Dorland, this was more than just material. She’d become a public voice in the campaign for live-organ donation, and she felt some responsibility for representing the subject in just the right way. The potential for saving lives, after all, matters more than any story. And yes, this was also her own life — the crystallization of the most important aspects of her personality, from the traumas of her childhood to the transcending of those traumas today. Her proudest moment, she told me, hadn’t been the surgery itself, but making it past the psychological and other clearances required to qualify as a donor. “I didn’t do it in order to heal. I did it because I had healed — I thought.”

by Anonymousreply 64October 6, 2021 3:56 AM

The writing world seemed more suspicious to her now. At around the time of her kidney donation, there was another writer, a published novelist, who announced a new book with a protagonist who, in its description, sounded to her an awful lot like the one in “Econoline” — not long after she shared sections of her work in progress with him. That author’s book hasn’t been published, and so Dorland has no way of knowing if she’d really been wronged, but this only added to her sense that the guard rails had fallen off the profession. Beyond unhindered free expression, Dorland thought, shouldn’t there be some ethics? “What do you think we owe one another as writers in community?” she would wonder in an email, several months later, to The Times’s “Dear Sugars” advice podcast. (The show never responded.) “How does a writer like me, not suited to jadedness, learn to trust again after artistic betrayal?”

‘I’m thinking, When did I record my letter with a voice actor? Because this voice actor was reading me the paragraph about my childhood trauma.’ By summer’s end, she and Sonya had forged a fragile truce. “I value our relationship and I regret my part in these miscommunications and misunderstandings,” Larson wrote on Aug. 16, 2016. Not long after, Dorland Googled “kidney” and “Sonya Larson” and a link turned up.

The story was available on Audible — an audio version, put out by a small company called Plympton. Dorland’s dread returned. In July, Larson told her, “I’m still working on the story.” Now here it was, ready for purchase.

She went back and forth about it, but finally decided not to listen to “The Kindest.” When I asked her about it, she took her time parsing that decision. “What if I had listened,” she said, “and just got a bad feeling, and just felt exploited. What was I going to do with that? What was I going to do with those emotions? There was nothing I thought I could do.”

So she didn’t click. “I did what I thought was artistically and emotionally healthy,” she said. “And also, it’s kind of what she had asked me to do.”

Dorland could keep ‘‘The Kindest” out of her life for only so long. In August 2017, the print magazine American Short Fiction published the short story. She didn’t buy a copy. Then in June 2018, she saw that the magazine dropped its paywall for the story. The promo and opening essay on American Short Fiction’s home page had startled her: a photograph of Larson, side-by-side with a shot of the short-fiction titan Raymond Carver. The comparison does make a certain sense: In Carver’s story “Cathedral,” a blind man proves to have better powers of perception than a sighted one; in “The Kindest,” the white-savior kidney donor turns out to need as much salvation as the Asian American woman she helped. Still, seeing Larson anointed this way was, to say the least, destabilizing.

Then she started to read the story. She didn’t get far before stopping short. Early on, Rose, the donor, writes a letter to Chuntao, asking to meet her.

I myself know something of suffering, but from those experiences I’ve acquired both courage and perseverance. I’ve also learned to appreciate the hardship that others are going through, no matter how foreign. Whatever you’ve endured, remember that you are never alone. … As I prepared to make this donation, I drew strength from knowing that my recipient would get a second chance at life. I withstood the pain by imagining and rejoicing in YOU.

by Anonymousreply 65October 6, 2021 3:57 AM

I should say, I'd like to read Larson's short story, but it's been scrubbed. Unless someone knows where to read it?

by Anonymousreply 66October 6, 2021 3:57 AM

[quote]For non-NYT subscribers (it's a long piece):

Or they could just learn how to use Archive

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 67October 6, 2021 3:58 AM

R57 it's precisely because you hoes cannot take any criticism of your awful behavior which makes your brand of toxicity female cliquishness so fucking pernicious!

by Anonymousreply 68October 6, 2021 3:59 AM

Here, to Dorland’s eye, was an echo of the letter she’d written to her own recipient — and posted on her private Facebook group — rejiggered and reworded, yet still, she believed, intrinsically hers. Dorland was amazed. It had been three years since she donated her kidney. Larson had all that time to launder the letter — to rewrite it drastically or remove it — and she hadn’t bothered.

She showed the story’s letter to her husband, Chris, who had until that point given Larson the benefit of the doubt.

“Oh,” he said.

Everything that happened two years earlier, during their email melée, now seemed like gaslighting. Larson had been so insistent that Dorland was being out of line — breaking the rules, playing the game wrong, needing something she shouldn’t even want. “Basically, she’d said, ‘I think you’re being a bad art friend,’” Dorland told me. That argument suddenly seemed flimsy. Sure, Larson had a right to self-expression — but with someone else’s words? Who was the bad art friend now?

Before she could decide what to do, there came another shock. A few days after reading “The Kindest,” Dorland learned that the story was the 2018 selection for One City One Story, a common-reads program sponsored by the Boston Book Festival. That summer, some 30,000 copies of “The Kindest” would be distributed free all around town. An entire major U.S. city would be reading about a kidney donation — with Sonya Larson as the author.

This was when Dawn Dorland decided to push back — first a little, and then a lot. This wasn’t about art anymore; not Larson’s anyway. It was about her art, her letter, her words, her life. She shopped for a legal opinion: Did Larson’s use of that letter violate copyright law? Even getting a lawyer to look into that one little question seemed too expensive. But that didn’t stop her from contacting American Short Fiction and the Boston Book Festival herself with a few choice questions: What was their policy on plagiarism? Did they know they were publishing something that used someone else’s words? She received vague assurances they’d get back to her.

While waiting, she also contacted GrubStreet’s leadership: What did this supposedly supportive, equitable community have to say about plagiarism? No response. She emailed the Bread Loaf writing conference in Vermont, where Larson once had a scholarship: What would they do if one of their scholars was discovered to have plagiarized? On privacy grounds, Bread Loaf refused to say if “The Kindest” was part of Larson’s 2017 application. But Dorland found more groups with a connection to Larson to notify, including the Vermont Studio Center and the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics and Writers.

When the Boston Book Festival told her they would not share the final text of the story, Dorland went a step further. She emailed two editors at The Boston Globe — wouldn’t they like to know if the author of this summer’s citywide common-reads short story was a plagiarist? And she went ahead and hired a lawyer, Jeffrey Cohen, who agreed she had a claim — her words, her letter, someone else’s story. On July 3, 2018, Cohen sent the book festival a cease-and-desist letter, demanding they hold off on distributing “The Kindest” for the One City One Story program, or risk incurring damages of up to $150,000 under the Copyright Act.

by Anonymousreply 69October 6, 2021 3:59 AM

[quote]Unless someone knows where to read it?

I believe it's in constant rotation in Dawn Dorland's head

by Anonymousreply 70October 6, 2021 3:59 AM

If this didn’t make me gay now…

by Anonymousreply 71October 6, 2021 3:59 AM

b-but what about men?!

by Anonymousreply 72October 6, 2021 4:00 AM

Roxane Gay is not impressed

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 73October 6, 2021 4:01 AM

R67, ah, well there you go. No need to copy/paste the rest of it. And that was only HALF of the piece.

by Anonymousreply 74October 6, 2021 4:01 AM

The Chunky Monkeys are Bad Art Friends.

by Anonymousreply 75October 6, 2021 4:02 AM

R73 Shows what kind of shitty writer she is that she's so willing to overlook plagiarism.

They both seem insufferable, though Larson slightly less so. However, Dorland should win the court case, as Larson obviously plagiarised her letter. And that's without even mentioning how Larson's defence kept changing.

by Anonymousreply 76October 6, 2021 4:03 AM

R73 She must come in here and know she has a cult following.

by Anonymousreply 77October 6, 2021 4:04 AM

Larson sort of shot herself in the foot by not changing the wording from Dorland's letter...

[quote] Dorland’s letter:

[quote] Personally, my childhood was marked by trauma and abuse; I didn’t have the opportunity to form secure attachments with my family of origin. A positive outcome of my early life is empathy, that it opened a well of possibility between me and strangers. While perhaps many more people would be motivated to donate an organ to a friend or family member in need, to me, the suffering of strangers is just as real.

[quote] Larson’s audio version of the story:

[quote] My own childhood was marked by trauma and abuse; I wasn’t given an opportunity to form secure attachments with my family of origin. But in adulthood that experience provided a strong sense of empathy. While others might desire to give to a family member or friend, to me the suffering of strangers is just as real.

by Anonymousreply 78October 6, 2021 6:12 AM

I doubt anyone does elective surgery lightly. What if Dorland just wanted to talk to them about it? She thought these people would be interested but they were more interested in their own writing. She's needy here but what if they're twisting it into this thing. All the these people on the internet are like meh, she's just an evil white savior bitch.

by Anonymousreply 79October 6, 2021 6:36 AM

Dorland sounds like a little bit of a mess, but that text/email chain was just mean.

by Anonymousreply 80October 6, 2021 6:38 AM

Weird story. Dorland has issues but Larson sounds like a cunt. Many writers seem to have a pronounced yet passive aggressive mean streak. They tend to be untrustworthy and predatory creeps. The type who will smile to your face then snicker behind your back. So many works of fiction seem to consist of nasty biting jibes that appear to be loosely based on people they've met.

by Anonymousreply 81October 6, 2021 6:53 AM

The white savior line is self serving and manipulative nonsense. Sonya Larson appears to be a upper middle class Eurasian American herself, hardly some fresh off the boat immigrant struggling to survive on a maids wage.

by Anonymousreply 82October 6, 2021 6:57 AM


Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 83October 6, 2021 7:09 AM

I finally broke down and listened to the audio version of this story.

Dorland spending years going after this woman is one thing, but really Larson (a grown woman) sitting in a group chat with other writers, gossiping about Dorland [writers] who then proceeded to encourage Larson to write a story where she is clearly writing about Dorland and using lines that she wrote to her directly is a bitch move.

That was one bear they didn't need to poke. It's juvenile.

I love the part where the piece, after talking about the lengths Dorland went through to punish Larson, pulled out the twist that Dorland wasn't entirely wrong. Yes, they were all gossiping about her and yes, she did take lines directly from one of the letters she wrote to her.

Does Dorland have issues? YES. A lot of them but at the end of the day she did give a kidney freely to anyone who wanted it. Did she do it bring awareness to organ donations, probably? Did she do it for attention, most certainly? Did she get upset at anyone that didn't give her the attention she deserved? YES. We all get annoyed with that kind of friend but most adults would simply stop talking to them.

Gossiping about a person is one thing but putting it in print and getting recognition is exactly what caused all this trouble. They should have kept it to their group chat.

Neither came off well in this story but Larson is far from innocent.

(As someone else said, white savior complex implies that Dorland was giving the kidney to someone who wasn't white to lord it over people. Nope, she gave it to anyone who needed it. So that argument is bogus.)

by Anonymousreply 84October 6, 2021 7:24 AM

Larson is typical of most writers. A snide and judgmental bully.

by Anonymousreply 85October 6, 2021 7:31 AM

[quote]Shows what kind of shitty writer she is that she's so willing to overlook plagiarism.

Yeah, it's interesting to me (read: not surprising at all) that the usual suspects: Roxane, Tressie McMillan Cottom, Myriam Gurba and Randa Jarrar are all piling onto Dorland and defending Larson, considering how much they piled on to Jeanine Cummins over writing American Dirt about a culture she wasn't from. But taking someones letter, and turning it into a nasty story to laugh at with friends, and only later creating a different story out of it is totally fine apparently. Tressie is particularly insane about this story, chalking it up to:

[quote]I maintain that whiteness doesn’t allow friendship. It only allows domination.

[quote]They don’t like their friends, spouses or families!!! Damndest thing I ever saw.

[quote]But not me. I’m the sis in group chat who agrees that the white woman at your job is LITERALLY trying to kill you. This story is exhibit 1,209,712.

It's so transparent. Roxane and Tressie in particular are blaming everything on "white women". It's just not relevant in this story and shows their agenda clearly: they are racist and will use any excuse to hate other people and feel justified about it. They are no different than the racists they complain about; they have become the same!

Roxane has been pushed back on so much lately by people who politely but firmly refuse to let her mischaracterise them that, rather than realising she is overstepping the mark, she's now claiming that she is similarly being hounded by white women who expect too much of her time. Rather than, you know, them just calling her out on her rudeness and errors. Academia and literature seem like the worst environments to be in. No wonder these people are so down on humanity if that's what they are surrounded with all the time.

What galls me about it is that there are real, terrible cases of racism, both original definition and systemic in society and these people just undermine it by applying it to everything. Someone pointed out above that the "white privilege" accusations aren't gaining as much sympathy anymore and I'm glad to see in this case they aren't.

As others have said, no one comes off well in this story. Dorland seems unhinged and stalkerish, Larson is a cunt. Celeste Ng seems like a piece of work too. What's sort of fascinating about the story is how unimportant and pathetic it really is, yet the writer kept you reading to the end. He paints a picture of two extremely recognisable women, that's what's so interesting.

by Anonymousreply 86October 6, 2021 8:22 AM

I know Dawn. Well, I know of her. She's even more of a cunt than this story would suggest.

Dawn was a part time instructor at a writer workshop in Los Angeles that a good friend of mine was in charge of.

The story is that Dawn was giving some sort of reading at a local bookstore and a man, who attended a workshop that Dawn led. went to Dawn's reading and acted inappropriately (don't remember what he did exactly) toward Dawn. Dawn told this to my friend - her boss - who promptly had the man removed from the workshop, effectively immediately. That was all my friend and the workshop had any authority to do with the case.

Later, that bitch Dawn tried to sue my friend and the workshop for some bogus claim (very similar to what she's doing now to Larson) that I can't remember exactly (but similar to her slapping herself nonsense in the article), even though the incident didn't happen during a workshop and the man was discharged from the class!

It actually was a big deal and forced the workshop to shut its doors.

We hate Dawn.

But Larson is a total mean girl who could have simply rewrote the fucking FB post entirely and then nothing would have come from any of this.

Of course, they'll probably both get book deals now.

by Anonymousreply 87October 6, 2021 8:31 AM

Roxanne is like the final boss of entitled twitter mob justice retards. Those holier than though censorious blue checks are sitting on a house of cards and Roxanne's jabba the hut ass might just break it.

by Anonymousreply 88October 6, 2021 8:55 AM

Bwahahaha! R88, that's put so well.

I'm not hugely familiar with Twitter, but I previously never really understood why people complained about blue checks until recently, when I see exactly what people mean!

Thanks for that R87, very interesting to read. She sounds like she's not wound too tight for sure!

No one comes out of this looking good, eh?

by Anonymousreply 89October 6, 2021 9:12 AM

For those who don't know to open paywalled articles in incognito tabs, the entire 10,000 word article boils down to this:

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

by Anonymousreply 90October 6, 2021 11:07 AM

Dorland sure is some kind of altruist, constantly wondering why her friends haven’t brought up her good deeds in conversation, then provoking them to make them give her attention. Jesus she seems exhausting.

by Anonymousreply 91October 6, 2021 11:26 AM

It’s a funny thing about charitable deeds, aren’t you supposed to do them anonymously? In Christianity I mean? However if you publicize it you potentially inspire others. So which is the morally correct thing to do?

by Anonymousreply 92October 6, 2021 1:58 PM

Another interesting thing to think about is this is something that happened in the past. Rather recent, but the past. I’d imagine many of the involved parties had gone though the torturous ordeal, eventually made peace with their untruths, and now are trying to mentally pack it away and move on.

Now this enormously popular article comes out and dredges it all up again. Is it fading away? Haha, think again!

by Anonymousreply 93October 6, 2021 2:03 PM

The head of the Boston Book Festival was quite the badass in the story. She shut Larson and friends DOWN.

by Anonymousreply 94October 6, 2021 2:03 PM

R93 I’m sure they were aware the article was going to be published for a while. I’d imagine they were hoping it wouldn’t make a big splash. Surprise!

by Anonymousreply 95October 6, 2021 2:04 PM

Do we think they are on some level loving the drama? I’m not sure. Aren’t writers mostly introverts?

by Anonymousreply 96October 6, 2021 2:09 PM

When I helped run a film critic website I found the group of Twitter literary/freelance writer women who banded together were really bad about plagiarizing from our website, and always from other women writers. I asked the editor of one place after the fourth instance of plagiarism why they only stole from our women writers and he called me sexist. I said, "Okay but just answer the question" and he insisted it was just coincidence, but I'm not sure that was true.

Dawn doesn't seem like the greatest person but sometimes people who do noteworthy things get overlooked for no reason, and I think she sounds like she got tired of it and tried to do something about it, and it got out of hand. The others all sound like catty Mean Girls making sure the wrong kind of person doesn't sit at the cool table.

by Anonymousreply 97October 6, 2021 2:23 PM

R94, ha! I thought the same thing. Those friends of Larson ended up come across fucking horribly. I'm looking at you Whitney Scharer, Jennifer De Leon, Calvin Hennick, Alison Murphy -- whoever you are.

by Anonymousreply 98October 6, 2021 2:33 PM

*coming across.^

by Anonymousreply 99October 6, 2021 2:34 PM

Dawn seemed driven by a need for external validation from people she thought were her peers, but who never felt that she was on the same talent level—and were likely accurate in their perception of her talent. The less she got from those people, the more she pushed and pushed, rather than have some self-knowledge and realize they weren’t interested in being part of her life. She ignored all social signals until she got the metaphorical slap in the face of this. And while it’s kind to think, “why couldn’t they just be nice to her?” anyone who has known someone like Dawn understands how frustrating it can be for someone like that to provoke you again and again no matter how gently you try to distance yourself. In fact, the more you try to keep apart, the harder they push to try and be part of your life.

The world can really punish people who have inflated or skewed visions of who they are and what they’re good at. Dawn wanted so many things because she liked the image of them she had in her own head, not because she actually had those skills. The writer hints at this throughout the piece, mentioning all of Dawn’s rejections and unpublished submissions. She couldn’t even make it into an advice column. But again, because of some wires crossed in her psychology, that made her double down instead of back off.

by Anonymousreply 100October 6, 2021 2:36 PM

It must gall them to be compared to mean girls, since they see themselves as smart, mature and sophisticated, so above all that.

by Anonymousreply 101October 6, 2021 2:38 PM

R100 True, but she was seriously provoked.

by Anonymousreply 102October 6, 2021 2:39 PM

R102 Yes, and we’re living in unprecedented times in which the Mean Girl gossiping about her was recorded digitally instead of taking place during a cocktail party or over a phone call and being a fleeting thing. And the ability of the gossipers to swap digital photos of Dawn’s socially maladjusted posts also drove the gossiping to a more intense degree than would happen in the past. Another example of social media bringing out the worst in people who probably consider themselves good. Especially ironic because it was social media that also brought out something good from Dawn (the kidney donation), even if she was doing it for purely narcissistic reasons.

by Anonymousreply 103October 6, 2021 2:44 PM


[quote]It’s a funny thing about charitable deeds, aren’t you supposed to do them anonymously? In Christianity I mean? However if you publicize it you potentially inspire others. So which is the morally correct thing to do?

Matthew 6:1 et. al.

[quote]Be careful not to perform your righteous acts before men to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

[quote] So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

But some people agree that it's okay to publicize charity as long as you're humble about it. If someone thanks you for it, deflect it back to the cause you gave to. Essentially, make it not about you but about the organization/person/etc. The church does it, after all. Where Dorland would have screwed up, as most people have noted, is by NOT being humble about it. She could mention it, she could direct people to organizations that match patients with potential doners, she shouldn't have gone emailing people asking DID YOU SEE THIS GREAT THING I DID? That is the problem.

by Anonymousreply 104October 6, 2021 2:44 PM

Sonya is also a good example of why sometimes it’s kinder to be direct with someone that you don’t want to be their friend. It sounds like Dawn was pursuing friendship all these years on the very fringes of Sonya’s group of friends. It’s tough and kind of brutal to edge someone out who’s acting like a hanger-on, but probably healthier in the long run.

by Anonymousreply 105October 6, 2021 2:48 PM

This past week I’ve read and heard more criticism of and trepidation about social media than ever, both online and in real life. I would like to think we are at a turning point but probably not. Any little bit would help though.

by Anonymousreply 106October 6, 2021 2:52 PM

R73, imagine being the wife/partner of that tedious creature!

by Anonymousreply 107October 6, 2021 2:53 PM

R107 I did laugh when the author mentioned Dawn’s husband didn’t believe her until he saw that Sonya quoted her letter in the story.

by Anonymousreply 108October 6, 2021 2:54 PM

For the sake of argument, for Dawn could it have been more about “why are these people who are sort of my friends not acknowledging this huge physical event I just went through?” As opposed to wanting kudos for her altruism.

by Anonymousreply 109October 6, 2021 2:57 PM

Maybe it’s just a difference in personalities/cultures, but it’s one thing for Dawn to send a group email saying “hey friends, I’ll be going through surgery and would appreciate your support” (even that is a bit attention whorish to me), and quite another to make a Facebook group on which you add people (instead of asking people to join if interested) posting updates and soliciting validation through likes. It feels like such an obvious bid for attention. And if you still don’t hear from some people despite that, I would chalk it up to “these people aren’t very good friends to me, so I should stop putting my energy into those relationships,” not confront them over it.

by Anonymousreply 110October 6, 2021 3:00 PM

Bottom line, there was some plagiarism (in my opinion). Apart from rubbing her face in it. Anyone disagree?

by Anonymousreply 111October 6, 2021 3:01 PM

It’s funny how on social media, what you don’t say becomes as meaningful as what you do. The whole thing of being hurt when someone doesn’t like your picture or whatever.

by Anonymousreply 112October 6, 2021 3:03 PM

Yes, and I think the person quoted in the piece who theorized that Sonya wanted Dawn to see it and know what Sonya really thought of her is correct. Sonya let her resentment and the high of being a Mean Girl override good sense. It would have been a lot wiser and kinder in the end to say to Dawn “Because you asked for an explanation, I haven’t been liking your Facebook posts because i think of you as more of a distant acquaintance than a friend and I’m not a fan of culture of sharing intimate details on social media. I wish you the best but I’m going to unfriend for both of our sakes.”

by Anonymousreply 113October 6, 2021 3:05 PM

[quote] For the sake of argument, for Dawn could it have been more about “why are these people who are sort of my friends not acknowledging this huge physical event I just went through?” As opposed to wanting kudos for her altruism.

The thing is, it's also unreasonable to take note of who does and doesn't "like" your every post about a "physical event." I've had major surgery and posted about it, but just because that's what was going on with me. I have no idea who liked those posts or didn't, because I wasn't posting about it in order to "see who my real friends are." She clearly was. And then to actually message somebody asking "Did you see that I did this thing? I just wondered because you didn't like my post about it"...big red flag. Very narcissistic.

by Anonymousreply 114October 6, 2021 3:06 PM

Or Sonya could have just been big about it and grudgingly given her a stupid like.

I have a 40something cousin who posts endless selfies, so embarrassing and to give her likes feels like encouragement but every now and then I throw her one. Costs me nothing.

by Anonymousreply 115October 6, 2021 3:09 PM

Dorland is obviously a mess, but that's what makes this worse: they were, basically, tormenting the village idiot of their circle. There were endless ways that they could have disengaged or blocked her. Larson and her friends didn't do that because they wanted to laugh at her--and help themselves to some of her words while they were at it.

by Anonymousreply 116October 6, 2021 3:10 PM

Social media kind of brings out my mean, Lucille Bluth side, “I get off on being withholding.” I have some otherwise stable friends who post selfies that give me second-hand embarrassment…so needy, it looks nothing like you, why are you making that weird expression, etc. It’s a bad side of me but I do send a message by not liking. It’s probably my own psychological issue of dislike vulnerability.

by Anonymousreply 117October 6, 2021 3:15 PM

R111 I agree - that letter was blatant plagiarism. R110 Dawn must have wanted support, attention, and perhaps to be given a Pied Piper mantle - “I did this thing, then everyone else followed me and did a similar thing”. Which is the same as wanting attention, but I do think she originally had good intentions in starting the group - she just invested too much of her own beliefs and ego into the entire story.

by Anonymousreply 118October 6, 2021 3:24 PM

You have to admit there is a fresh thrill watching Dawn get her way, personality flaws and all. Watching Larson and her cool, snobby, successful friends squirm and point fingers is hilarious. I hope Dawn continues to slowly twist the knife.

by Anonymousreply 119October 6, 2021 3:26 PM

[quote] Dorland is obviously a mess, but that's what makes this worse: they were, basically, tormenting the village idiot of their circle.

Yes. She was less successful and had less money and they turned her into the group-text punching bag. It makes them look like a bunch of cunts.

And the Twitter reaction that this is all about “white women” is disingenuous at best. The lead mean girl is half Asian, the “model minority,” so don’t try to turn her into some kind of civil-rights heroine.

by Anonymousreply 120October 6, 2021 3:26 PM

R86 Well said.

by Anonymousreply 121October 6, 2021 3:33 PM

R119 Yes. If only this was set in Canada, it could be an Alice Munro story.

by Anonymousreply 122October 6, 2021 3:34 PM

It’s very strange to see that Twitter overwhelmingly supports Sonya, despite the admission of plagiarism. Everyone is calling Dawn a white Karen trying to ruin a woman of color’s career. Give me a break - Sonya is obviously more well-off and elite with her famous writer friends.

by Anonymousreply 123October 6, 2021 3:36 PM

[quote] I hope Dawn continues to slowly twist the knife.

She is. At the end of the article, it states that she's attended three different online events where Larson was a panelist. How awkward is that?

[quote] Larson, while on camera, learned that Dorland’s name was on the attendees list, and her heart leapt into her throat. Larson’s life had moved on in so many ways. She’d published another story. She and her husband had just had their baby. Now Larson was with her friends, talking about the importance of community. And there was Dorland, the woman who’d branded her a plagiarist, watching her. “It really just freaks me out,” Larson said. “At times I’ve felt kind of stalked.”

[quote] Dorland remembers that moment, too, seeing Larson’s face fall, convinced she was the reason.

by Anonymousreply 124October 6, 2021 3:36 PM

Not an attorney but as a plaintiff in a lawsuit, I had to make available every single text and email during discovery. Mine were polite and professional (and supported my case) but always assume that every text, social media post, and email could someday be used in litigation. I’m now much more careful with my communications, in terms of tone and clarity.

by Anonymousreply 125October 6, 2021 3:37 PM

Sounds to me they are all too old and marginally famous to have any fun at Bread Loaf, which is a young and petty people party.

by Anonymousreply 126October 6, 2021 3:41 PM

“Ugh, Dawn is at it again, SO annoying. I know! I’ll write a story about this type of person we all recognize, and I’ll throw in a racial angle as well. OMG it’s going to be awesome, so trenchant and relevant to our times. I’ll even use some of her words because they are just too perfectly cringeworthy. She might recognize herself in it, but I’ll have plausible deniability and yet she’ll still be put in her place. I have to tell the girls about this.” - Sonya’s thought process, maybe?

Again, I would like to read the short story itself, to get the full picture.

by Anonymousreply 127October 6, 2021 3:41 PM

Sonya’s quoting the letter was like Olenna Tyrell saying “Tell Cersei, I want her to know it was me.” She wanted to Dawn to know how little esteemed she was, as a friend, a writer, and a kidney donor.

by Anonymousreply 128October 6, 2021 3:44 PM


Except that Larson isn't white. So your "argument" falls a bit flat.

by Anonymousreply 129October 6, 2021 3:47 PM

All these bitches need to calm the fuck down.

by Anonymousreply 130October 6, 2021 3:48 PM

Some rider on Twitter posted:

“The reason writers have largely circled the wagons for Sonya Larson isn't because she's more popular or because we don't care about plagiarism, it's because apparently unlike a lot of you, we know what plagiarism actually is.”

Typical superior tone. Revenge of the book nerds.

by Anonymousreply 131October 6, 2021 3:51 PM


by Anonymousreply 132October 6, 2021 3:51 PM

If Larson were black, I'd believe she is actually oppressed.

Her stories, on the shaky premise she is a minority, actually sound pretty good.

Dawn sounds like doesn't know what friendship is, probably because of her messed-up childhood. She should not have disclosed such personal information to a bunch of power-hungry writers. Larson was never her friend.

by Anonymousreply 133October 6, 2021 3:53 PM

These cunts should have found big cocked yahoos at their colleges, married, got well fucked, popped out kids BEFORE 30, and worked in banking or consulting, where their natural mean girl cuntery would take a back seat to the proper pursuit of big money, elegant clothes and grooming, and handsome properties. No loss to LITERATURE, and they all would have been happier and more chill.

by Anonymousreply 134October 6, 2021 3:54 PM

This reminds me vaguely of when all those frau writers united behind YA author Sarah Dessen and piled on some teen who made an unflattering critique about her books. Revenge of online literary frauen is a scary world indeed..

by Anonymousreply 135October 6, 2021 3:55 PM

r129, r2 clearly wrote "a bunch of rich white, or white adjacent women together." Larson certainly qualifies as white adjacent. So your "comment" falls a bit stupid. Learn to read.

by Anonymousreply 136October 6, 2021 3:58 PM

This woman got exactly what she deserved. She thought she was being clever and getting the last word by changing the closing to “Kindly.” Should have known Miss Dawn will not be ignored!

by Anonymousreply 137October 6, 2021 4:18 PM

A younger Shelly Duvall as Dawn in the (aka my fantasy) movie version.

by Anonymousreply 138October 6, 2021 4:21 PM

Yes people are siding mostly with Larson, but only in large, online social media cliques. Unfortunately for them this story has exploded and begun to reach out into the real world, which isn’t as easily controllable.

by Anonymousreply 139October 6, 2021 4:25 PM

Was it here someone suggested Maggie Q as Sonya?

by Anonymousreply 140October 6, 2021 4:27 PM


by Anonymousreply 141October 6, 2021 4:31 PM

Whomever said men don't do this doesn't follow Glenn Greenwald and his vile crew on Twitter. Complete cunts!

As for this insane scenario- I think Dawn is obviously unstable and hasn't worked through her trauma to the extent she thinks she has. Moaning about people not liking your FB posts is unhinged.

Larson is a complete bitch and she plagiarized Dawn - that is a fact. Why not be more honest and tell her how you really feel about her?

Bottom line : They deserve each other.

by Anonymousreply 142October 6, 2021 4:31 PM

Larson and her crew must loathe the writer of piece, Robert Kolker, right about now.

by Anonymousreply 143October 6, 2021 4:33 PM

I don't know, Larson came across as more sympathetic than she actually is. "She's moved on, she has a baby and has a thriving career" kinds of stuff were written about her, to the point of being cloying. She should be thankful it was Kolker who wrote that, others wouldn't have been so kind.

by Anonymousreply 144October 6, 2021 4:36 PM

I remain perplexed that the core audience for “white women are the WORST” commentary is… white women.

by Anonymousreply 145October 6, 2021 4:57 PM

Not saying I agree with this but I did notice and someone else pointed out Larson is uh very white passing.

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by Anonymousreply 146October 6, 2021 5:06 PM

Wow, you are not kidding, r146.

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by Anonymousreply 147October 6, 2021 5:11 PM

Larson is quite delusional. The anecdote about students at her college falling asleep on the lawn and how that's privilege right there. Well, she probably has a point, but I'm sure if someone saw her ass passed out on the college lawn, no one would be alarmed.

by Anonymousreply 148October 6, 2021 5:15 PM

My friends would find laughs in the kidney story. Emailing people who don't react to your Facebook posts is strange but she thought they were friends. It could have just been reaching out. I don't know these people so I shouldn't care but I dislike the popular writers ganging up on someone. Maybe she's awful, maybe it's real ugly to turn something someone without power feels really strongly about into she's a delusional white bitch.

by Anonymousreply 149October 6, 2021 5:15 PM

I don't like this. I have to shut it off. Dawn could be unbearable. They could be picking on someone vulnerable who might have mental health problems.

by Anonymousreply 150October 6, 2021 5:20 PM

Sonya's husband isn't bad looking!

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by Anonymousreply 151October 6, 2021 5:24 PM

They were both extremely stubborn, but Sonya should’ve known better. Seems she just had to have the last word and get her way. Dawn at least had a legitimate beef.

by Anonymousreply 152October 6, 2021 5:28 PM

The husband's hot.

by Anonymousreply 153October 6, 2021 5:43 PM

Two good tweets.

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by Anonymousreply 154October 6, 2021 5:51 PM

not everyone's a fan

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by Anonymousreply 155October 6, 2021 6:07 PM

R137 The best part of those YA fraus going after that teen is that the teen was smarter and more perceptive than the entire gaggle of 40-something cases of arrested development. The college student argued that YA reading is too juvenile for collegiate level, and the YA authors proved her point by acting like children.

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by Anonymousreply 156October 6, 2021 7:10 PM

There's some silly tweet by a white lady suggesting that Larson is a frightened minority and Dorland is a " white woman weaponizing her tears". I usually try to avoid any racial discussion on this site ( it always ends in tears!) but let's get real. America has a very malicious history towards certain demographics but half northern European half east Asian yuppie women were never a major target for violence, hatred, and discrimination. Good grief, even certain white ethnic or " white adjacent" groups as DL calls them were treated worse than asian/European mixed people. By the way her Twitter defenders are discussing Larson, you would imagine she grew up on a native American reservation or inner city ghetto.

by Anonymousreply 157October 6, 2021 7:26 PM

It really is a fascinating story, a microcosm of some of the issues and stupidity infecting the culture these days.

by Anonymousreply 158October 6, 2021 7:37 PM

They all sound insufferable.

by Anonymousreply 159October 6, 2021 7:45 PM

Katie Couric should interview Sonya Larson.

by Anonymousreply 160October 6, 2021 7:49 PM

R2: "This article gave me hives. This sort of internecine emotional and psychological bullshit doesn't happen with men."

So true!

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by Anonymousreply 161October 6, 2021 8:59 PM

[quote] Typical superior tone. Revenge of the book nerds.

Writer Twitter is insufferable. “Look at me, I’m clever! Look at me, I make up ‘This never happened’ scenarios about the things my kids say! BUY MY BOOK!”

by Anonymousreply 162October 6, 2021 9:02 PM

So much rich lady sociopathy goes unchecked. A normal society would banish everyone in the story from polite society.

by Anonymousreply 163October 6, 2021 9:05 PM

Oh god, that Sarah Dessen situation! You'd think everyone would've learned from that, but no, here's Celeste Ng and Roxane Gay getting involved yet again!

And that picture of Larson above? Oh yeah, she's definitely some oppressed minority 🙄

When I see the Twitter explosion about this, it seems to be that it's the blue checks who are defending Larson, but when you get into the comments below, it's probably more 80% either defending Dorland, or if not that, then at least calling out the mean girl nature of the group and discussing that no one comes off well. I sort of get the impression that it sounds more like people are defending Dorland because they're pushing back against Larson's victim narrative, maybe? But that's just based on what I'm reading.

[quote]And the Twitter reaction that this is all about “white women” is disingenuous at best. The lead mean girl is half Asian, the “model minority,” so don’t try to turn her into some kind of civil-rights heroine.

But Roxane and Tressie gotta eat!

by Anonymousreply 164October 6, 2021 9:19 PM

The weird thing is that race even came into play in this situation in the first place. As far as I can see, they all display the same tedious, attention-seeking behavior and tone, regardless of race. They're the United Colors of Benetton of literati fraudom.

by Anonymousreply 165October 6, 2021 9:32 PM

[quote]I sort of get the impression that it sounds more like people are defending Dorland because they're pushing back against Larson's victim narrative, maybe?

I get the impression that it comes down to either the plagiarism or the mean girl angle. Even Celeste Ng said Larson shouldn't have used those lines from the letter in her piece. Also, there's a group of adults that simply don't like the fact that there was a mean girl group that Larson was the Queen B of.

[quote]And that picture of Larson above? Oh yeah, she's definitely some oppressed minority

She's biracial and she writes about it. She writes about the weird things people said about and to her growing up. She writes about her own thoughts on it now.

During this post, you both said she's not an "oppressed minority" because she's half Asian, which isn't Asian enough to be oppressed apparently, and used some weird stereotypical Asian "model minority" reference that you wouldn't be using if she wasn't Asian.

Kids are cruel and you're proving her point even now. I have no doubt in my mind that people did say weird things to her growing up about her background. I also have no doubt that at some point someone discriminated against her, stereotyped her, or treated her differently because of it

BUT I don't think any of that has to do with this situation. If anything, randomly slapping a "white savior" clause on Dorland cheapens the work that Larson has done. It just doesn't apply here.

by Anonymousreply 166October 6, 2021 9:43 PM

I’m dressing as Dawn’s under-appreciated kidney for Halloween!

by Anonymousreply 167October 6, 2021 9:55 PM

I used to nurture literary dreams but this sort of bitch clique drama makes me feel ok about my failure to achieve.

by Anonymousreply 168October 6, 2021 10:24 PM

It all feels like a YA novel.

by Anonymousreply 169October 6, 2021 10:25 PM

DL icon Meredith Talusan takes Larson's side!

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by Anonymousreply 170October 6, 2021 10:29 PM

R166 Larson is getting shit precisely because she brought race into it. She was the one posturing herself as a victim because of her race. If she didn't flippantly pull the race card it wouldn't have been a point of contention. But she just had to go there and now she's deservedly getting pushback. It's called karma.

by Anonymousreply 171October 6, 2021 10:48 PM

R161 Out and out cattiness is different than what is going on amongst these fraus. Neither Vidal nor Buckley were never nice to each other and then retreated to their nasty gossip cliques to manipulate others into socially ostracizing someone. They duked it out publicly and honestly and never pretended to be victims. I suspect that you aren't very smart and unable to make the distinction. This is a behavior that is very specific to women and women only.

by Anonymousreply 172October 6, 2021 10:55 PM

It wasn't a memoir when the author was claiming it happened to her. So what's the issue here?

Writers use stuff from other people's lives all the time. then they build a story around it.

The kidney lady sounds like an attention whore whack job. Reaching out to the successful writer (only an acquaintance!) to find out why she didn't comment on her heroic kidney act.

Now the NYT is ruining this poor author's reputation. It's bullshit.

by Anonymousreply 173October 6, 2021 11:39 PM

How much does DL want to bet that Kidney Lady will parlay this into a memoir and cash in. I'm not sure why this story makes me so mad, but it does.

I guess it's because of the trend to tear down anyone who has made any real accomplishments. Social media has made this worse than ever. Honestly, it pains me anytime I witness someone I admire being ripped apart just because people are jealous of their accomplishments.

Well, it pains me everywhere but on DL. It's perfectly acceptable here. So, carry on.

by Anonymousreply 174October 6, 2021 11:45 PM

Larson thought she was just writing fiction but the other woman was envious, hurt and vulnerable. The reaction was explosive. Some people could be siding with Dawn because they could see being very very angry too. Larson thought this was easy, this emotional needy woman, easy to discount and step on.

by Anonymousreply 175October 6, 2021 11:48 PM

The Chunky Monkeys *gag* pushed Dawn out too. The story is wild. Larson doesn't really do a lot in it. She probably just thought she was getting ahead in fiction. I bet she was blindsided.

by Anonymousreply 176October 6, 2021 11:50 PM

Writers borrow from people they know all the time. Larson says clearly she had other ideas in mind but the direct quote. It was to make fun of her and she wasn't upfront about the story when asked. Larson fucked with her just enough.

by Anonymousreply 177October 7, 2021 12:03 AM

Sonya Larson responds about this controversy on her website!

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by Anonymousreply 178October 7, 2021 12:05 AM

Where? I see no response.

by Anonymousreply 179October 7, 2021 12:10 AM

You're right R179. She side steps her responsibility by forcing race back into the equation

by Anonymousreply 180October 7, 2021 12:14 AM

Re: YA lit and college. I used to teach an Honors First Year Seminar on Young Adult Dystopian Fiction. Students were drawn to it by the whole Hunger Games phenomenon. The first year, I mainly used YA novels (including Hunger Games) mixed with some novels about adolescents that could be read by teens and adults, such as Lord of the Flies. (and some clearly aimed at mature readers, such as Brave New World and 1984, neither of which center on adolescents, but need to be there as the two foundational dystopian traditions in modern fiction). At the end of the semester, I had the students vote a book off the island and we discussed why. They consistently voted off The Hunger Games—having read Huxley, Orwell, Ishiguro, Atwood, and Wyndham, they simply felt they didn’t get as rich an experience from Hunger Games as they did when they were fourteen (they also pointed out how poorly written it is—they were astute critics, all had to be in the Honors Program to enroll in the seminar). BTW, I found many of my regular students wouldn’t or couldn’t read fiction by 19th and 20th century “adult” writers. Bravo to the ND student for holding to a level for college students—even if she could have been more politic about it.

My former college (I’m retired now) used to have a campus book (with poor support and programming to make it meaningful and RAs who told students they didn’t need to bother—spare me from Student Affairs culture). The college decided a book was too much, so they decided there would a first-year movie—with popcorn! O tempora! O mores!

by Anonymousreply 181October 7, 2021 12:28 AM

Larson looks like an ugly white woman. Dawn IS a prettier white woman. #patriarchy

Larson will always hate her no matter who has more success. She was horrible to her, she's a monster. And Dawn would like to see the manager of art now.

by Anonymousreply 182October 7, 2021 12:47 AM

Dawn the BPD versus Sonya the NPD.

by Anonymousreply 183October 7, 2021 1:02 AM

R183, is the NYT writer their Rescuer?!?

by Anonymousreply 184October 7, 2021 1:04 AM

In college I took a course in modern Bildungsroman. (Modern being early 20th C mostly.) And we read these classic ripe, sweaty novels such as Die Verwirrungen des Zöglings Törleß in German, French and English. There's no reason not to take it seriously at an undergrad level. As a one-off, of course.

by Anonymousreply 185October 7, 2021 1:06 AM

Larson is trying to paint herself as a passive artist using others' life experiences as for inspiration in her work is such bullshit. Copying someone's emails word for word is not a passive act. It's aggressive cuntiness. She then lied and gaslit the other frau for months. Now she's claiming she's being harassed. Using someone's words in your own work when you know they will read it and have a bad reaction to it, and then lying to the public about it is harassment. It's not the same as someone showing up to your work and someone calling your friends, but it's still harassment.

by Anonymousreply 186October 7, 2021 1:19 AM

Live. Love. Plagiarize.

by Anonymousreply 187October 7, 2021 1:20 AM

I see that's she doubling down on wanting this being seen as a POC issue instead of owning up to being a mean girl bitch. She deserves cancer.

by Anonymousreply 188October 7, 2021 1:21 AM

R175, overall I am totally Team Larson, but Sonya knew wasn't "just writing" fiction. Her texts prove this without any shadow of doubt. She clearly says that she can't seem to rewrite the FB post because Dawn's was too perfect.

Larson clearly plagiarized that passage.

I have no issue with co-opting Dawn' kidney story in her fiction. The lives of others are fair game. But not the words of others.

She made a huge gaffe in using that passage, basically verbatim.

by Anonymousreply 189October 7, 2021 1:30 AM

I agree, r189. I don't blame her for mocking Dawn. Yes she's an insufferable cunt, but what you say among friends is your own business. She erred by lifting the passage verbatim. For a writer, plagiarism is a cardinal sin.

by Anonymousreply 190October 7, 2021 1:38 AM

R189, her confession that she couldn’t improve on the Facebook post and had to lift it word for word is pathetic. That’s either laziness or lack of talent. How embarrassing either way.

by Anonymousreply 191October 7, 2021 1:40 AM

Probably shouldn't have used the kidney also. Any other organ would have helped cover her tracks.

"Sister, Can You Spare a Lung?"

"A Nice Piece of Liver for the Orthodox Gentleman"

by Anonymousreply 192October 7, 2021 1:45 AM

[quote] DL icon Meredith Talusan takes Larson's side!

Oh, she would. And since when does she have a blue tick anyway?

by Anonymousreply 193October 7, 2021 2:00 AM

wtf is a blue check on Twitter and what does it mean?

by Anonymousreply 194October 7, 2021 2:05 AM

R194, vast riches, unimpeachable bonafides and taste-making in key cultural spheres.

by Anonymousreply 195October 7, 2021 2:14 AM

MLK Jr is (was) a known plagiarist as well, and got away with it.

by Anonymousreply 196October 7, 2021 2:21 AM

POC = get out of plagiary jail card. You know else was a plagiarist? Arthur Haley in Roots. Yep. And he paid a hefty fine. But nobody wanted to know.

by Anonymousreply 197October 7, 2021 2:23 AM

The fact that the whole mess involves something as momentous and emotional as donating a kidney is not being given enough weight here. It’s not like Dorland is complaining that Larson pinched some story about a love affair gone sour. To borrow a line from Chinatown, it’s very personal, it couldn’t BE more personal. It’s a big deal, not some petty gripe. She saved a life and not only is she not getting attention for it, no one is taking it into consideration at all it seems. No good deed goes unpunished, does it. In my opinion Dorland has every right to be deeply pissed that some self-important “artist” turned her big personal story into something so insulting and demeaning, and brazenly used her lines because she thought they were so hilariously pathetic. That’s what Larson likely meant by the lines being so good, not that they were actually good but that she thought they were so cringeworthy. Larson obviously figured she could bully or outlast Dorland, seemingly almost for the sport of it. Well she fucked around and found out, as they say. I wonder what happens next with this?

I will say it’s a good idea for a story, but Christ, be a little more creative and imaginative. Then again she didn’t seem to want to.

by Anonymousreply 198October 7, 2021 2:24 AM

Humility is a Christian concept...

by Anonymousreply 199October 7, 2021 2:30 AM

Some people just aren’t gonna sit back and take it.

by Anonymousreply 200October 7, 2021 2:36 AM

I wanna read and compare Dorland's and Larson's fiction. Let's see how they stack up!

by Anonymousreply 201October 7, 2021 2:37 AM

David Schwimmer as Lou Adler. Or is he too old?

by Anonymousreply 202October 7, 2021 2:44 AM

Sorry, that was for the Mamas and Papas thread.

by Anonymousreply 203October 7, 2021 2:45 AM

I would love if the movie version of this story portrays Larson as a WHITE stuck up bitch.

by Anonymousreply 204October 7, 2021 2:46 AM

[quote]I used to teach an Honors First Year Seminar on Young Adult Dystopian Fiction.

How embarrassing for you.

by Anonymousreply 205October 7, 2021 2:52 AM

I like it r192, but maybe multiple organs. She just keeps donating organs. Piece by piece, she just keeps donating, and all she asks is constant Facebook likes. And ironically, with each donation, she's "giving herself away."

by Anonymousreply 206October 7, 2021 3:00 AM

Dawn Dorland is donating a KIDNEY, right out in CLASS!

And Sonya Larson has been passing NOTES!

These awful, CHEAP girls!

by Anonymousreply 207October 7, 2021 3:04 AM

R206, Which is already a more interesting story than the one Larson wrote from the sounds of it.

I am a writer frau sort (yes, I'm published, no you've never heard of me.) I used to hang out on with women's writer groups online, but have mostly pulled out just because they are so fucking toxic. The race thing gets used frequently as a means to put (usually) white women in their place--particularly if they're naive or older. Endless jostling for status. I dropped most of the groups because whatever few small connections they might offer weren't worth the infighting and ugliness, which are distracting. It's also weirdly repressive--I mean, God forbid, you question any of the groupthink of the day.

So, I don't doubt that Dorland is one of those needy, desperate for attention types who hover at the edge of the arts and always have. It's easy to make fun of them and Dorland sounds like a lot to handle. But she did do a good thing that most of us wouldn't have the guts to do. Donating a kidney is major surgery and it does pose some long-term health risks.

I don't give Larson a pass on this--there's no way that Dorland wasn't going to find out about the story and the story set off to destroy Larson's sense of self-worth about the Big Great Thing she did by turning it into the disdained White Savior trope, even though the actual kidney went to a Jewish guy and Dorland didn't put restrictions on its use. If Larson's imagination was truly fired up by the whole issue of organ donation then, yes, she could have altered the organ, come up with a different message from the donor or, heck, pushed her own character to consider more deeply what it means that someone would do this. But she didn't. This was basically a cheap shot at someone she viewed with contempt. (And the plagiarism shows some amazing hubris.)

As for Larson's being half Chinese--we're talking about the group that gave you the Tiger Mom--there's certainly a type of uber-competitive, cliquish mean girl that you run across as a result. Doesn't mean she's never experienced racism/identity issues, but also means she's not exempt from kicking the dog--i.e. writer wannabe from white-trash background.

The comments at the NY Times are pretty harsh on Larson and I've noticed some of the Twitter defenders are blocking who can post on their threads, so I don't think things are going the way they want.

Honestly, the only person I truly respect in the whole piece is the woman heading the Boston book festival--she shut that shit down. "Don't have your friends write me." was wonderful.

by Anonymousreply 208October 7, 2021 3:33 AM

Hear hear, R208. Especially about the Boston book festival gal. Imagine the outraged texts that must have flown around regarding THAT.

by Anonymousreply 209October 7, 2021 3:42 AM

[quote]wtf is a blue check on Twitter and what does it mean?

As someone who has a blue check -- it only means you are who you say you are and you are, in Twitter's eyes, important enough so that people might want to find you and be sure that it's you.

They verify that by searching for you on the internet to see if any legit publications have ever talked to you or spoken about you or if you've written something of note which is why most people who have them work as writers/journalists. (Musicians and Actors also have them, of course, but that's usually because there's proof they've sold music or they have credits somewhere and have been interviewed/talked about.)

by Anonymousreply 210October 7, 2021 3:48 AM

One thing I've learned from this whole fuss is the term "Girlboss." Although I'm not entirely sure of the nuance of the meaning. Like an Alpha Female? Or someone looked up to as such?

by Anonymousreply 211October 7, 2021 4:03 AM

[quote] For a writer, plagiarism is a cardinal sin.

Not in Novo Mesto.

by Anonymousreply 212October 7, 2021 4:18 AM


[quote]This sort of internecine emotional and psychological bullshit doesn't happen with men.

Give me a fucking break. Men can be the pettiest nellies on the planet when it comes to getting all they feel their egos deserve.

Put some hydrocortisone on your hives and don't forget to swallow some, too: it might cure you of your tendency to generalize.

by Anonymousreply 213October 7, 2021 4:27 AM


I've never heard of the term "white adjacent." R2's comment is crap anyway.

by Anonymousreply 214October 7, 2021 4:29 AM

R211 Girlboss stems from the whole 'lean in' type of feminism that became popular a few years ago. Prima facie it's supposed to make women assert themselves in the work place. In practice it means certain women using feminism to carte blanche act like sociopaths. Elizabeth Holmes is girlboss numero uno.

by Anonymousreply 215October 7, 2021 4:32 AM

[quote]As someone who has a blue check -- it only means you are who you say you are and you are, in Twitter's eyes, important enough so that people might want to find you and be sure that it's you.

I will add: if a blue check claims to have been hacked, take it with a strong dose of skepticism. Having a blue check means "two-factor authentication," which consists of a one-time code being sent to your cellphone whenever you sign in to a new device or want to change your password.

by Anonymousreply 216October 7, 2021 5:13 AM

Altruism has always been complicated. These women are trying to smear her for being annoying and attention seeking. High school style. They don't care about what Dawn did or who they hurt. The popular girls tried to circle the wagons and I'm glad it's not working.

by Anonymousreply 217October 7, 2021 6:41 AM

As someone pointed out, there would be hell to pay if Dawn were black. It's fraudulent that Ng and Larson tried to pass this off as a race problem and it is satisfying to see PoC in the NYT comments incensed they took this path.

by Anonymousreply 218October 7, 2021 6:58 AM

I wonder if they're all texting, or if they're afraid to now.

by Anonymousreply 219October 7, 2021 7:05 AM

[quote]It's fraudulent that Ng and Larson tried to pass this off as a race problem and it is satisfying to see PoC in the NYT comments incensed they took this path.

Was coming here to say the same thing. No one has time for this race argument, which is heartening to see. It's also infuriating at the same time that, as someone there said, this was done in a way that will just minimize real racist problems.

That whole group of writers is hilarious in one way, in that they are so [italic]completely[/italic] those type of women, down to the ridiculous name for the group and their behavior and everything. And the writer's subtle dig that Larson creates characters who have an idea of how they come across, but are unaware of how they [italic]truly[/italic] come across.

I said above that no one comes out of this looking good, but I'll revise that slightly. I can think of three people.

Robert Kolker - the writer who made an engaging piece out of this idiocy. He did a great job, seriously;

The unidentified Jewish man - who only wanted to live and is able to now, thanks to his new kidney; and

Deborah Porter - my personal favorite, who told Larson in no uncertain terms to fuck off with her "white savior" narrative and just be grateful that she doesn't get sued.

by Anonymousreply 220October 7, 2021 7:57 AM

Man, I was reading the Reader's Favorites at the NYT and they are *brutal* and they are getting lots of votes. Couldn't get through all of them. The only ones cutting Larson slack are from people who are clearly inside that circle and probably a little nervous about the blowback. I'm actually wondering if it's going to do some career damage.

I mean, none of these writers are ones you read for entertainment. They're *literary* and supposed to be perceptive and enlightening. The fact that Celeste Ng, Roxanne Gay and their lesser-known buds do.not.get.it and then played the race card damages the brand. They look spiteful and petty instead of wise and insightful.

While I'm sure Gay and Ng will survive the fall-out, though possibly with less hallowed reputations, I think Larson is toast. She was an up-and-comer writing about things that are in right now, but she's not established and now she's infamous. You don't want to be known as someone who bullies kidney donors and then lies about it.

One of the things the buddies of the Chunky Monkey crew are doing is fluttering their hands about Dorland pitching the NY Times--and how ridiculous it was to have done that. But, given that Dorland wasn't published and looked like she wasn't going to be published, I'd say it's worked out for her. No one's going to say anything meaner than what's been said by the Chunky Monkey gang and she's getting some sweet, sweet revenge here as well as getting the attention she desperately wants.

by Anonymousreply 221October 7, 2021 9:53 AM


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by Anonymousreply 222October 7, 2021 9:57 AM

It's not just that she played the race card, but how clumsily she did it. The fact that it didn't come out until she was completely exposed for her bullshit when Dorland found the audio of an earlier version which pretty much proved the plagiarism just shows how disingenuous Larson was being.

by Anonymousreply 223October 7, 2021 10:27 AM

And I'd add to that that when people like Roxane and Tressie play the card, it's because it's really all they know how to do. If they admitted that cases like this are more about "class", then they would have to own up to their own privilege there, and they don't want to do that, they want to be perpetual victims.

by Anonymousreply 224October 7, 2021 12:01 PM

R211 There’s also a nuance to “girlboss” of holding power in the workplace while still being feminine/hot/cute, which distinguishes it from the 80s/90s “power businesswoman” image. Think of woman-owned millennial brands like Glossier (makeup) or The Wing (social club) where everything is pink-tinged. But it’s now used pejoratively because it’s become clear that these businesses have just as bad workplace issues and practices as traditional businesses, they just do it with lipstick on.

by Anonymousreply 225October 7, 2021 2:57 PM

It all started harmlessly. Larson was confident in artistic license and enjoying success and her friendships. Ng and Larson are intelligent people I'd probably be good with elsewhere but they counterargument to Dorland is so lame. Dorland was probably insufferable but the defense is not doing it for me. 1. She pitched the story. I just don't care. The Times choose to do it and they painted both people sensitively. 2. She's an attention seeker. So what? That's the mean girl stuff. They don't even pretend to care about the life she saved. Like we don't already know people do good things for multiple, complicated and impure reasons. 3. She's annoying. Dorland might be very annoying. They should have backed away which it sounds like they tried to do and also not mined her for material. Pretty sure other people look at who likes their FB posts. Dorland acted on it because she wanted these people as friends. Call it a red flag...why fuck with her? 4. She's crazy. Keep it up. Celeste understood why Dorland was mad. Larson took her words because she didn't respect her. They are bullies. It's all so incredibly petty and insufficient.

by Anonymousreply 226October 7, 2021 3:22 PM

Woke bullies because white women can't say shit in their defense in that environment.

by Anonymousreply 227October 7, 2021 3:34 PM

R227 it depends on the type of white woman. What I've noticed in these social media pile ons is that they generally only tend to go after white women who have some quality that reduces their social power ( older, poor, etc). The really connected and powerful girl boss types are usually left alone.

by Anonymousreply 228October 7, 2021 3:40 PM

[quote] I think Larson is toast.

Larson -- if she's actually talented -- can weather this, but so far, she's taking the wrong approach of dispatching her online literary clique (she's already perceived as a cliquish mean girl) and doubling down with this race angle that's irrelevant to this story and which many find offputting. There's something to be said about being a little penitent, admitting, 'hey I screwed up, I'm sorry,' and keeping a low profile for awhile.

by Anonymousreply 229October 7, 2021 4:30 PM

They thought Dawn sucked. She sucks. I'd know to leave it alone.

by Anonymousreply 230October 7, 2021 4:34 PM

Exactly, R228. Their contempt for the working class, the elderly, the uneducated, immigrants from the "wrong" countries-- anyone who doesn't fit into their neo-liberal, "yas queen!", self-empowerment circle jerk-- is blatantly obvious. It's a big part of why they despise radical feminists so much.

by Anonymousreply 231October 7, 2021 4:35 PM

Larson made the wrong chess moves at every step of the way against Dawn the loony and she continues to even now. But she’s gotten herself stuck in a very bad place because the lawsuit requires her to avoid doing the thing that could salvage her public reputation, admitting “social media makes me act like a jerk, I’m sorry for being a bully and copying the letter, and I’ll try to do better in future.”

The sad thing is the short story she wrote about this sounds really great.

by Anonymousreply 232October 7, 2021 4:37 PM

The story did sound good she did say she used other elements.

It was telling for me the moment the story dropped there's Sonya Larson talking with two friends on twitter about the story from behind her protected tweets. One of the other people in the convo also had protected tweets. Being gossipy and indirect is a theme.

by Anonymousreply 233October 7, 2021 4:46 PM

Face the music. These people don't know how to do high road.

by Anonymousreply 234October 7, 2021 4:47 PM

I'm being hard on Larson. Ok, so she can't comment. I don't like this stuff. Celeste Ng shouldn't say another word. She'll be fine.

by Anonymousreply 235October 7, 2021 4:54 PM

Someone in a local Facebook group (in Boston) heavily alluded to knowing Larson, and that she was a really sweet loving person, etc. but when the comments started taking Larson to task, she turned the comments off. Certainly on-brand for this clique.

by Anonymousreply 236October 7, 2021 5:07 PM

Well, gee, I’d turn the comments off too. I do sorry for Larson at this point.

by Anonymousreply 237October 7, 2021 5:18 PM

*feel* sorry

by Anonymousreply 238October 7, 2021 5:21 PM

I'm a college teacher and I never ever feel sorry for plagiarists who dig in, try to distract and displace. COPT to it and apologize.

by Anonymousreply 239October 7, 2021 5:50 PM

Christian Lorentzen, a literary critic whose work I generally like, pointed out on Twitter that Robert Kolker almost certainly earned far more for this individual piece than either Larson or Dorland have made in their entire respective careers by selling pieces of writing. Dorland was unpublished and Larson seemingly only earned a couple hundred bucks for selling one or two stories to little-known anthologies.

Lorentzen says the Times shouldn't have published the story for this reason -- it's basically elevating two nobodies. I don't really agree, as it's obviously a juicy human story if nothing else, but it is true that this all seems to make it more likely that BOTH will end up with lucrative book deals.

The story frames Larson as a sort of up-and-comer which is generous. Her biggest asset in that regard was likely her relationship with Celeste Ng. But given the embarrassment to Ng for being wrapped up in this, now she'll have to say no when Larson asks her to blurb her first book!

BTW, whoever called Ng's work "literary" in an earlier post -- just no. I read "Little Fires Everwhere," and while its narrative was layered with a kind of predictable sociological exploration of suburban Ohio, at its core it's really just a low-calorie page-turner that propelled its plot with a series of unlikely coincidences and implausible developments.

by Anonymousreply 240October 7, 2021 6:01 PM

Celeste Ng’s work is in the strata below Franzen/Mantel but above Jennifer Weiner. We don’t really have a good category for that, it’s like mass market fiction with literary pretensions. I’d group her with John Irving, maybe.

by Anonymousreply 241October 7, 2021 6:09 PM

r239 I'll oh dear myself. COP to it. I had Rami Malek on my mind I guess.

by Anonymousreply 242October 7, 2021 6:11 PM

I'm sure Robert Kolker earned more money for "Who is The Bad Art Friend?" But Sonya Larson has been published more than twice and won an NEA grant. Best American Short StoriesIn the literary world, that's not exactly a nobody. Here's her bio:

"Sonya Larson’s short fiction and essays have appeared in Best American Short Stories, Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, American Short Fiction, American Literary Review, Poets & Writers, Writer’s Chronicle, Amazon Originals, Audible.com, West Branch, Salamander, Memorious, The Harvard Advocate, Pangyrus, Solstice Magazine, Del Sol Review, Red Mountain Review, The Hub, and more.

She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts 2020, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, Ragdale, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the St. Botolph Club Foundation, and more.

She is Director of GrubStreet‘s Muse and the Marketplace writing conference, and is an organizer for the Boston Writers of Color Group. She received her MFA in fiction from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College."


by Anonymousreply 243October 7, 2021 6:14 PM

Ah, the world of grants and fellowships….

by Anonymousreply 244October 7, 2021 6:23 PM

Celeste Ng hinted there were texts Dawn sent as well. But yeah, I don't think Larson owned this. These women are very long on explanations and excuses. Very big on spin. Thank god I'm not stuck in one of these backbiting writer's groups.

by Anonymousreply 245October 7, 2021 6:31 PM

It's a shame that two completely unremarkable and unpleasant women can generate so much interest.

That's all.

by Anonymousreply 246October 7, 2021 6:31 PM

When I was a kid in the pre-Internet Age, my mother used to warn us to watch what we said by imagining it would be on the cover of the paper the next day. This seems like a somewhat unhealthy way to live, except now it’s coming true.

by Anonymousreply 247October 7, 2021 6:33 PM

All this academic/nonprofit infrastructure that's sprung up around fiction writing in particular hasn't improved literature in any discernible way I can locate.

What it has wrought seems largely to be these kinds of cliquish writer's groups that very much operate with an "in crowd" mentality, and drained the pocketbooks of people like Dawn Dorland who are desperate for validation from other "writers" -- mostly people who've achieved little actual success of their own in publishing, but who play the game with a bit more savvy.

Writing really is meant to be a solitary activity. Let's get back to that.

by Anonymousreply 248October 7, 2021 7:13 PM

None of these gals will learn a god-damned thing from their mistakes, if they can even recognize them.

by Anonymousreply 249October 7, 2021 7:19 PM

True, R248

by Anonymousreply 250October 7, 2021 7:47 PM

It's easier for me to forgive blind spots (Dorland) than mean-spiritedness (Lawson).

I like the concept of Lawson's story, but not as a roman à clef takedown.

In the story, the cynical and entitled recipient's remark to her husband about the donor “So she’s the kindest bitch on the planet?” is probably Lawson's quoting herself. I don't think she had to dig too deep to create that character. Up to the writing of the story, though, I would have had the same reaction she did to Dorland's Facebook antics.

Larson's obtuse replies to Dorland's initial queries were embarrassingly patronizing.

by Anonymousreply 251October 7, 2021 8:25 PM

Who is this Jennifer De Leon woman? The co-founder of "chunky monkeys" (ugh!)? She sounds pretty insufferable too. I can just see her e-mailing Deborah Porter to whine about Dawn being a "white savior". It cracks me up thinking of the look on her face when Porter emailed her back and De Leon's emotional blackmail had clearly backfired.

by Anonymousreply 252October 7, 2021 8:31 PM

[quote]Celeste Ng hinted there were texts Dawn sent as well.

Well hinting is all they can do, because no-one would believe her if she outright said it. If there was anything Larson could've used to attack Dorland, it would've been in the article or posted on social media by now.

by Anonymousreply 253October 7, 2021 8:43 PM

Lasrson is the big loser here, followed by Ng.

Dorland is clearly someone who gives off a strong "crazy lady" vibe and it seems that people who knew her or employed here were aware of that, so the story just confirms that's who she is.

Larson, OTOH, was an up and coming writer who was starting to gather some steam and she's been totally derailed and exposed as a First Class Cunt and Middle School Mean Girl and it will clearly derail her career. Ditto Ng who supported her. Black NYT commenters also seemed really pissed off that Larson was pulling the race card on this too.

by Anonymousreply 254October 7, 2021 8:43 PM

I guess Anne Hathaway is too old for the inevitable FX limited series about this.

by Anonymousreply 255October 7, 2021 8:45 PM

R255. That depends. How old are all of these crazy bitches?

by Anonymousreply 256October 7, 2021 8:47 PM

And agree 100% R248

The boom in MFA programs created a whole crop of people trained as "writers" who couldn't make a living from it, so they started all these writing courses like Grub Street to take money from bored office workers who had even less chance of getting published.

A lot of them would have been better off working in Hollywood too, where they might have made a decent living.

by Anonymousreply 257October 7, 2021 8:48 PM

[quote] A lot of them would have been better off working in Hollywood too, where they might have made a decent living.

Because being a bad writer with a bitchy mean streak a mile wide is amply rewarded in Hollywood!

by Anonymousreply 258October 7, 2021 8:51 PM

“This is what happens when you have the artistic temperament, but you're not an artist.”

Marie Calvet, Mad Men

by Anonymousreply 259October 7, 2021 8:54 PM

A year or so ago I fell down the "author tube" part of YouTube - just watching aspiring authors talk about the path to getting published etc. It became clear so quickly how of a clique they were, inviting each other to sleepovers to talk about writing and do usual sleepover stuff, and very much being an in-group that left others out of it. And all the women looked the same too, haha.

I wanted to be an author when I grew up, but that side of things I never ever wanted or even imagined.

This article I think has made most of the people reading it remember high school, in a really unpleasant way. But these are fully grown women behaving like this! It does make you look at the authors and academics on Twitter who are defending Larson with a bit of a side-eye. It's a bit like when Stephen King said that if you meet someone who enjoyed high school, you shouldn't trust them.

Celeste Ng has taken this holier than thou approach to the matter on Twitter which makes her seem incredibly unlikable. She would've done better to just keep out of it.

by Anonymousreply 260October 7, 2021 9:04 PM

I would put far more stock in the comments on the NYT article than in Twitter where you've got a lot of people who are personally involved in the affair.

And Larson is being SAVAGED in the NYT

by Anonymousreply 261October 7, 2021 9:05 PM

The way these people make any real money is when Hollywood options one of their books to make a movie or TV series out of it.

Not happening anymore for Larson or Ng

Too toxic.

That is how Hollywood thinks.

by Anonymousreply 262October 7, 2021 9:06 PM

This is what happens when extroverts take control of an introverted profession.

by Anonymousreply 263October 7, 2021 9:09 PM

Amy Adams could play Dawn.

by Anonymousreply 264October 7, 2021 9:17 PM

Too many people think they are writers. They like the identity. We live in the age of identity cosplay. They don't respect the couple of people in the world who tell them to just stop, they are talentless, and should pursue a lucrative career with their brains and education. MFA programs CANNOT tell their paying students they are minor talents or no talents. These cunts treat a writing career like its founding a craft brewery, an artisanal ice cream brand, or a fair exchange boutique.On the up side, the more time they spend in their little literary menses cliques, the less time they pollute normal offices. But there are plenty of cunt cliques to ruin those, too. I am am man and have been deliberately moved 3 times into cunt cliques by stupid management who think the solution is putting some dicks in the mix. It NEVER works unless they dilute the clique to 60% cocks.

by Anonymousreply 265October 7, 2021 9:17 PM

I thought this comment on YouTube was a good one:

[quote]Perhaps the greatest irony here is that Sonya Larson is fascinated by people who come across poorly without knowing it.

by Anonymousreply 266October 7, 2021 9:24 PM

I’m also a writer/author and part of the dreaded Blue Check Mafia. But I write for the big glossy magazines and that crowd would probably call me a sellout.

I lived in Cambridge for two years and met several of these characters — including Larson and De Leon — at a reading. “Exhausting” would be an understatement.

by Anonymousreply 267October 7, 2021 9:29 PM

Ha R258! That is exactly what I was thinking at R257

And yes R265, it's only in the last 30 years or so that "writer" has become an actual profession with a pre-professional training program and advanced degrees.

Previously, "writers" would work at other jobs and write on the side and when they'd managed to get enough published, they'd take a teaching job at a university (teaching English, not "writing") because it paid decently, provided security (they got tenure) and gave them more time to write.

Less literary writers like Jackie Collins or a James Patterson could afford to be full time writers, but they were the exceptions not the rule.

by Anonymousreply 268October 7, 2021 9:29 PM

My new favorite tidbit is how they ripped Dawn for being in an organ donor parade instead of focusing on her writing... while spending 24/7 on twitter themselves.

by Anonymousreply 269October 7, 2021 9:29 PM

Creative writing, like journalism has become the sole purview of a certain type of upper middle class person (usually woman) who feels relatively poor in relation to the truly wealthy in London, NYC, and LA, but is still too rich too realize their their gripes and struggles are minor compared to 99% of the world. They are the educated gentry.

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by Anonymousreply 270October 7, 2021 9:46 PM

This ridiculous story is one of the more interesting human interest pieces I've enjoyed from the NYT in awhile.

by Anonymousreply 271October 7, 2021 10:08 PM

R166, I would argue she has "pretty" privilege. She is an attractive mixed race woman whose looks skew towards white to me.

I need to update my list of crazies to also include most writers or people involved in publishing. I already have journalists and academia.

by Anonymousreply 272October 7, 2021 10:19 PM

Roxane Gay has spoken on this important matter.

by Anonymousreply 273October 7, 2021 10:40 PM

[quotes]I need to update my list of crazies to also include most writers or people involved in publishing.

I'm a huge Anne Lamott fan, as a person and writer.

She writes a bit about "writing groups" like the Chunky Monkeys. From what I gathered from reading her work, it seems like they can be helpful but every now and then there's a jackass.

She told a great story about a writer friend who kept talking about how great their career was going while she was going through hell and they KNEW about it. She eventually resolved to respond to them, "Isn't that just great!" whenever they talked about how great things were going. She'd give them nothing else. Just, "Isn't that just great!" in response to everything.

Eventually, the person gave up looking for approval. It's definitely something I adopted in my personal life. I simply say, "Isn't that just great!" when I deal with people like Dorland. Eventually, they learn that's the extent of what I'm giving them but they usually leave with no hard feelings.

by Anonymousreply 274October 7, 2021 10:45 PM

Dorland has contacted Gawker to correct reported facts in two they’ve they’ve done on the story. Gawker publishes her email in it’s entirety.

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by Anonymousreply 275October 7, 2021 10:45 PM

*good lord so many typos above. Sorry!

by Anonymousreply 276October 7, 2021 10:49 PM


[quote]…until those texts were subpoenaed. The correspondence included in the Kolker article was discoverable because of the litigation Sonya initiated against me in January 2019 (in response to my invitation in late 2018 to mediate or arbitrate our copyright dispute with a low-cost legal arts service). I did not subpoena any of Sonya’s correspondence. [bold]Sonya, because she sued me for defamation and other tort claims after I asserted legal rights to my letter, was required to produce relevant documents in relation to her lawsuit against me.[/bold]

Oh that's a beautiful little fact that I missed from the original article.

by Anonymousreply 277October 7, 2021 10:53 PM

Why I only read Proust.

by Anonymousreply 278October 7, 2021 10:58 PM

Wow, R277, I hadn't focused on that detail at all.

by Anonymousreply 279October 7, 2021 11:08 PM

R278 I can't EVEN with all of this drama

by Anonymousreply 280October 7, 2021 11:12 PM

This detail from her Gawker corrections is also interesting:

[quote] Ahead of my surgery, metrics within the Facebook group interface were automatically telling me (under each post) that Sonya was consuming all of the material, but she was otherwise not engaging with me or the group. I was focused at this time on preparing for my surgery, which was scheduled more quickly than my team at UCLA had anticipated. I thought I’d allow Sonya room to have whatever reaction she was having—I got some weird reactions!—and I wasn’t sure what that Facebook metric actually meant, so I didn’t jump to any conclusions. But Sonya’s behavior was unique in the group,

So she knew that Larson was following her Facebook posts and contacted her to find out why she hadn't said anything. For me that changes it a little bit. She wasn't contacting Larson because she was ignoring Dorland's story, but because she was following it and not saying anything. Dorland is obviously INSANE but I understand now why she sent that message to Larson.

by Anonymousreply 281October 7, 2021 11:14 PM

I'm the one who referred to Ng as writing literary fiction--by that I meant, it falls into that publishing category. I didn't mean it was any good. The local high school assigns it in English--because, yeah, it's got obvious literary motifs and Ng checks multiple diversity boxes. I read it and thought, oh, Asian family in white face. It came off as kind of mannered and not really authentic. But, hey, attacks white liberal do-gooder hypocrisy, so ahead of trend.

It doesn't matter if Larson is talented--publishing is a business. You think women's book clubs are going to buy her books? Think Oprah is going to feature the first novel of a writer who mocks kidney donors? Because that's how publishers are going to look at her. There are lots of talented writers who don't have that kind of baggage.

The dumbest thing Larson did, among her many dumb things, was to fucking sue Dorland. Her propensity for suing people, by the way, is going to be another red flag. Publishing's a business, no one needs someone who's idiotically litigious.

Larson's done--though there's always self-publishing on Amazon and lit magazines no one reads. Welcome back to the bottom of the pile, Sonya.

by Anonymousreply 282October 7, 2021 11:23 PM

Agree 100% R282

by Anonymousreply 283October 7, 2021 11:27 PM

Volunteering a kidney for attention and praise sounds a lot like Munchausen's (not by proxy) to me, R24.

by Anonymousreply 284October 7, 2021 11:43 PM

[quote] So she knew that Larson was following her Facebook posts and contacted her to find out why she hadn't said anything. For me that changes it a little bit. She wasn't contacting Larson because she was ignoring Dorland's story, but because she was following it and not saying anything

I read a lot of blog posts, posts here and there, Twitter, articles in the NYT, etc and don’t always comment. Is there some requirement to comment on Facebook? (I’m not on Facebook). Larson didn’t ask to be in this FB group, Dorland added a bunch of people that she assumed were friends who would want to hear all about her. But Dorland wanted more. She wanted to hear praise and encouragement. You go, girl! You’re so brave! You’re obviously a better person than we struggling, but published! writers back in Boston.

by Anonymousreply 285October 8, 2021 12:09 AM

This is all about class.

by Anonymousreply 286October 8, 2021 12:10 AM

R284, Munchausen's means that you are faking an illness for attention. That's not what Dorland was doing.

by Anonymousreply 287October 8, 2021 12:11 AM

Some of you idiots are not seeing the forest for the trees. Yes the tacky low-class white lady was an embarrassment and train wreck. But the mean barelyPOC bourgeous lady STOLE the white trash lady letter, lied about it, laughed about it, snarked about it, and lawyered up about it. AND NEVER APOLOGIZED AND MADE UP. No. the bourgeois lady lawyered up. Larson is 100% that minorly talented, PUSHY CUNT WANNABE. The tacky needy white trash lady doesn't have to steal ideas.

by Anonymousreply 288October 8, 2021 12:15 AM

Not really R286, and I am the first to see class as a key factor in most of these sorts of conflicts.

While it definitely played a role, the key conflict here was just that Dorland was off, like crazy cat lady off, not that she was poor, and while that made her more of an "other" it was the crazy that really stood out and gave the Mean Girls something to bond over and someone to mock.

by Anonymousreply 289October 8, 2021 12:16 AM

It's totally about class.

If Dorland had been a multimillionaire cat lady wannabe writer, with fabulous homes in the Hamptons, London, Marrakesh or Shanghai, those thirsty bougie ladies would have kept her close.

by Anonymousreply 290October 8, 2021 12:19 AM

Bless your heart R290

by Anonymousreply 291October 8, 2021 12:22 AM

Who plays Larson--Awkwafina, Sandra Oh, or Constance Wu? Oh is probably too old (I loved her on The Chair, even if the series itself was far from being remotely true to the way academic departments function--things are more boring and petty than that), Awkwafina might be too inherently likeable, Wu would bring the Mean Girl Energy

by Anonymousreply 292October 8, 2021 12:23 AM

After reading the letter Gawker condescending agreed to publish, R275, I’m really not sold on the “Dorland is out of her mind” narrative. That was never a defense to plagiarism, of course, but, apart from that, she seems lucid and to the point.

by Anonymousreply 293October 8, 2021 12:26 AM

Will Larson's next story be about bitchy white women writers who push their totally innocent WOC friend to write a mean short story about a different white woman, and then the same bitchy white women writers encourage her to sue and it all blows up in the totally innocent WOC's face, but the white women get away with it all?

by Anonymousreply 294October 8, 2021 12:26 AM

Doesn't that hot dishy dark man fuck Dorland lustily? She's quite the shrew, considering there seems to be prime dick in her life. He's probably GAY. Since she's an ORIENTAL.

by Anonymousreply 295October 8, 2021 12:29 AM

In one of the reports it is mentioned that Dorland is known to be litigious. You know the type.

by Anonymousreply 296October 8, 2021 12:30 AM

[quote]Larson didn’t ask to be in this FB group, Dorland added a bunch of people that she assumed were friends who would want to hear all about her. But Dorland wanted more.

Wait. There's a misunderstanding here R285.

When Dorland invited her to a Facebook group, she would have been given the chance to look over the group and decided if she wanted to accept the invitation. If she didn't, she would have had access to preview the group for 28 days. After that point, if she never interacted, the invite would have been rescinded.

So technically she was asked and she agreed and accepted the invite.

[quote]Is there some requirement to comment on Facebook? (I’m not on Facebook).

It's an odd faux pas depending on the group size. It's like being in a group text. If someone doesn't comment in a group text or a small group facebook then the question is why. Usully someone talks to you before they boot you because you're either lurking, sharing their private info or disinterested.

by Anonymousreply 297October 8, 2021 12:44 AM

Okay r297, thanks for the explanation.

Re: class. I think it is a factor if not a defining one. Dorland grew up in an abusive family and was poor. Larson was comfortably middle class.

Dorland is very, very pressed that people understand that she is the victim, that she has been wronged. I’m trying to think of a similar case, either historical or in fiction but I’m too tired to think.

by Anonymousreply 298October 8, 2021 1:51 AM

Dorland was wronged. The cunt stole her very words and make a mockery of them. In "fiction". Is this not clear to you?

by Anonymousreply 299October 8, 2021 1:53 AM

I still don’t think it’s right to expect someone within a social media group to interact with the group. And it’s especially strange to contact the person and ask for an explanation of why they aren’t interacting. You don’t get to control other people’s behavior like that, and seeking to or feeling anxious about that is something to work on in therapy. But maybe that’s an outdated attitude.

by Anonymousreply 300October 8, 2021 1:54 AM

Thats all well and good and everyone recognizes that. However, Larson is a stone cold cunt. See how this works. They are both appalling but on different counts. Sheesh.

by Anonymousreply 301October 8, 2021 1:57 AM

[quote] She wanted to hear praise and encouragement.

She did. The simple thing would be to not give it and decline participation instead of mining it for material and pretending to be a friend.

by Anonymousreply 302October 8, 2021 2:02 AM

It’s a good lesson that if you can’t even stand to fake enthusiasm for someone’s stupid choices when necessary, you should be upfront with them that you aren’t their friend. Social media lets people keep metaphorical whipping boys around to watch and think “at least my life isn’t THAT.” And maybe that’s just as unhealthy as following people who make you feel like your life is trash.

by Anonymousreply 303October 8, 2021 2:04 AM

[quote] And it’s especially strange to contact the person and ask for an explanation of why they aren’t interacting. You don’t get to control other people’s behavior like that

Could be a little crazy. It was a small private group about her surgery plans. Dorland seems pretty smart when you read the corrections. And by pretty smart I mean smart enough to wonder and ask why a more successful writer is lurking in her group. At any point Larson could have removed herself.

by Anonymousreply 304October 8, 2021 2:05 AM

I get invited to like FB pages and join FB groups all the time. Unless I'm genuinely interested, I decline. My time is limited and it's too easy to waste time on social media, anyway. So, no, Larson wasn't forced to join this group. She also could have unfollowed Dorland or put her on snooze for 30 days at any point. I have a couple of SJW acquaintances on FB. There are things I like about them, but every now and then I just can't and I snooze them for 30 days. This blocks their posts without their knowing. FB has a lot to answer for, but it works well for this kind of thing. Larson chose to be a part of that group and use it to gather material and snark at Dorland.

I get that, but when you do something like that, exploit it and then get caught, you don't play victim. (Or fucking sue.)

Plus, there's just something kind of awful about writing a story and invent a scenario to debase the worthiness of a kidney donor. It shows a lack of awareness and, yes, privilege. Part of me hopes Larson needs a kidney one day.

And, yes, this has class issues written all over it. Larson has an MFA. Ng went to Harvard. Roxanne Gay went to Yale before dropping out. Much of the literary fiction game these days has a pay to play element--dole out thousands to attend workshops, meet agents, make connections. And then sneer at the mostly-white-women who can pay for these workshops and seminars because most of them aren't interesting or good writers. But doing it in private so you can continue to get them to pay for your workshops, seminars, classes while you hope your next novel sells more than 3,000 copies.

by Anonymousreply 305October 8, 2021 2:07 AM

[quote]I still don’t think it’s right to expect someone within a social media group to interact with the group. And it’s especially strange to contact the person and ask for an explanation of why they aren’t interacting.

I completely agree. It's just another one of those things. I got YELLED at by a friend for not interacting during a group facebook chat (back when I used it.) Someone asked if I was "spying" on them.

I pointed out that someone invited me to the group and that I didn't have a job where I could spend all day talking to people on chat. I exited the group right after that. It was 11 PM on a Monday!

by Anonymousreply 306October 8, 2021 2:33 AM

Gawkers publication of Dawn’s letter had a sneer built-in, but she sounds rational and offers significant corrections.

by Anonymousreply 307October 8, 2021 2:44 AM

Of course Dorland is one of those people who lists their academic degrees in an email signature.

by Anonymousreply 308October 8, 2021 3:29 AM

I like that "I check email once daily at noon." Dawn is disciplined.

by Anonymousreply 309October 8, 2021 3:33 AM

This is R267. Agreeing with what much of R305 says. But keep in mind that Dorland is also a Harvard alum. She graduated from the Divinity School.

As mentioned above, I have some experience with these literary and MFA types. I wouldn’t be surprised if they resented her Harvard pedigree, and, mocked her because of lack of talent and publications. Those types are obsessed around fellowships, residencies, panels, lit journal publications and graduate degrees. And, yes, one of their favorite games is to group text/chat each other to ignore/not like or comment social media posts by others writers who have accomplished or published something, or, who they just don’t like.

by Anonymousreply 310October 8, 2021 3:45 AM

When I saw the thumbnail pic of these two women on google, I thought Larson was the full white victim and the one on the left was that mixed Asian

by Anonymousreply 311October 8, 2021 3:55 AM

That's the thing that gets a lot of people, I think, r310. That cloying little world of professional "writers" who are really professional networkers and clique formers and backscratchers. That's the gross background to this whole thing. Just write your damn stories and don't be some credentialed bitch with all the right connections, you whores.

But I know that's not how anything works these days.

by Anonymousreply 312October 8, 2021 4:17 AM

[quote]also pulled from real life — where Chuntao notices a white family picnicking on a lawn in a park and is awed to see that they’ve all peacefully fallen asleep. “I remember going to college and seeing people just dead asleep on the lawn or in the library,” Larson told me. “No fear that harm will come to you or that people will be suspicious of you. That’s a real privilege right there.”

Jesus Christ. Whites can’t even nap without it being called privilege.

She is part white, so…

by Anonymousreply 313October 8, 2021 4:41 AM

Half asian half white rich pretty girls can't fall asleep in the libraries of elite liberal arts colleges? News to me.

by Anonymousreply 314October 8, 2021 4:53 AM

R267, thanks for the correction, missed/overlooked Dorland's divinity degree. Looking at her Gawker letter, she doesn't seem like an idiot or particularly crazed, but I can believe she's difficult on a personal level. But Larson, Ng, Gay and co. continue to come off as worse. Ng's Twitter makes her look like a complete ass here. I agree with what you're saying about the current literary world. My own experience is similar. I think it's gotten noticeably worse in the last 20 years--pretty much since the Internet destroyed the traditional economic model for publishing. But the egos didn't disappear with the money.

So tell us more about Larson and DeLeon. I notice the gang continues to be completely clueless as to why they're so godawful.

by Anonymousreply 315October 8, 2021 5:08 AM

[QUOTE] Who plays Larson

Maggie Q.

by Anonymousreply 316October 8, 2021 5:11 AM

More and more people are starting to call Roxane out on things, which is great. I know Roxane is claiming it's all "white women making claims on my time", but it's a bit hard to explain when non-white women are doing it too, Roxane:

[quote]Can we discuss at some point the fact that Roxane Gay always seems to side with the worst women? From Sarah Deeson to gaslighting "Ima hide behind being a WOC cause my white writer friends told me to" Sonya Larson. Girl. Are you not TIRED?

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by Anonymousreply 317October 8, 2021 7:32 AM

[quote]Don't involve all Asians in your latest shittalk, Ms. Chupeco. Pls don't use race/gender as an excuse the way Americans Sonya Larson Celeste Ng Roxane Gay do it when they powertrip. Pls own your punching down and neverending mockery of people you think have lower status than you

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by Anonymousreply 318October 8, 2021 7:34 AM

Yeah, I think this story has legs.

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by Anonymousreply 319October 8, 2021 10:03 AM

Man, some of you nailed the weird, cliquey underbelly of the wannabe literary world. Specifically the MFA/Writer's Conference/panels etc. crowd. I've published two novels and did the festival/book tour/book panel circuit back in the day. Fuck that shit. Fake, fake, fake No one cared about one's book (except a few lovely, earnest readers). They cared about trying to get their in the right hands of the right person. It made high school seem like a cake walk .

I no longer write fiction, but I am still friends with those who hover in that world. And I still attend a monthly get together with about six writers. We all started out together and have been friends for a decade or so. It's very Chunky Monkey, actually! Except we're all cool and really just get together to drink wine, talk about our various projects and drink a little more. It's very supportive. Oh, and I no longer drink anything, so I drive everyone home (when I can)...

Naturally, earlier tonight at our monthly get together, this article was all we discussed! We all went round and round about the Sonya's we've met over the years. Talented, but ruthless. Talented, but not quite talented enough. It's bizarre. They're entire lives are just trying to get a book published. It seems to mean more than the work itself.

And then there's Dawn. One of my friends has been on two panels with Dawn over the years! And yes, Dawn was as horrible as you might think. She said that Dawn's need to be liked and approved was so over the top, that she truly thought it was performance art. Which cracked me up.

It's a strange world that's for sure.

by Anonymousreply 320October 8, 2021 10:05 AM

^^Ugh. Sorry about those typos. It's late...

by Anonymousreply 321October 8, 2021 10:06 AM

Ugh, let's try that again

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by Anonymousreply 322October 8, 2021 10:08 AM

Thanks for sharing, R320! It's why I think the writer of the article did such a good job. I am not even adjacent to any sort of writing groups, yet I found the personalities of all those involved incredibly recognisable.

by Anonymousreply 323October 8, 2021 10:11 AM

The Other Talusan, Ms Dumplings herself, is now onto this too, and is, no surprises, supporting Larson and attacking Dorland. It's hard to make sense of her rantings, but she's made plenty of them. Example:

[quote]how dare asian american women talk shit about an overbearing white woman in private

[quote]idk bad art friend is giving “white saviour with main character syndrome feels entitled to friendship of mixed asian writer”

[quote]there’s something gross going on with these tweets but w/e the opportunistic mean rich asian woman was asking for it, poor innocent dorland, etc

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by Anonymousreply 324October 8, 2021 10:30 AM

R320, Thanks for sharing. I've known some writers who were great people, but whole conference/AWP/networking thing has some horrible people in it.

And your description of the Larsons--talented, but not talented enough--that's a lot of the problem--they're not satisfied, so they kick the dog.

R324, Poor Meredith Talusan, trying to toady to the cool crowd, but nobody cares and too crazy to realize that to most people she's just another Dorland, but with a kidney to spare.

by Anonymousreply 325October 8, 2021 10:33 AM

Oh R325, that's not Meredith, that's Roslyn, another Talusan. She became briefly known a couple of weeks ago when she was complaining about a white woman writing a book on dumplings. Everyone pretty much told her she was wrong, so she decided she needed therapy, and put up a gofundme for her followers to pay for her therapy after "Nazis and White Supremacists" "attacked" her (ie, told her to leave the chef alone). She's certifiable.

by Anonymousreply 326October 8, 2021 10:45 AM

Many of your forget that Twitter provides a platform for crazy people to act out with no consequences. In fact it rewards Crazy.

What several of you did not mention in your descriptions of the writers conferences is what's at stake: there's almost no money to be made in literary fiction. And not enough college professor jobs (the old mainstay of wannabe writers). So it becomes a world of people who have other sources of income (trusts, rich husbands) all chasing something elusive, namely the deal with Hollywood that is unlikely to ever come.

by Anonymousreply 327October 8, 2021 10:55 AM

Oh, if course, crazy dumpling chick. One of the nice things about this saga is that it makes it really clear who's a genuinely awful person.

by Anonymousreply 328October 8, 2021 11:10 AM

How do I dress as “Sexy Bad Art Friend” for Halloween?

by Anonymousreply 329October 8, 2021 11:15 AM

OMFG. I really enjoyed that.

The whole thing should be a Lifetime movie. It's all so low stakes in the big picture, but obviously high stakes to the people involved. And the story at issue that Larson wrote seems like it would be terrible. Lol.

GrubStreet, Chunky Monkeys, awful hashtags, back biting and gossip, racial implications, legal wranglings, social media ploys, the generally insufferable main characters. It's got it all! Except a steamy love affair.

That the Chunky Monkeys hated Dorland and talked shit about her almost made me spit out my coffee.

by Anonymousreply 330October 8, 2021 11:25 AM

Hahaha R330, I was saying to some friends, if it had ended in murder, Netflix would've done a series out of it!

[quote]One of the nice things about this saga is that it makes it really clear who's a genuinely awful person.

Agreed. I also don't buy this argument from Ng and the rest: "Oh everyone does this!" No. You may have a point that everyone vents to friends, but I'd say most people are passive about it. You bitch about someone you've had trouble with to a close friend or family member. Once vented you feel better and more "kindly" again. I've never gone out of my way to actively treat someone the way this writer's group did. It probably seems like a subtle difference, but it's clear to me.

by Anonymousreply 331October 8, 2021 12:00 PM

"A younger Shelly Duvall as Dawn in the (aka my fantasy) movie version."

I would love a DL "Let's cast Bad Art Friend" thread, but I don't think there's enough characters for a substantial thread.

by Anonymousreply 332October 8, 2021 12:06 PM

[quote] After reading the letter Gawker condescending agreed to publish, [R275], I’m really not sold on the “Dorland is out of her mind” narrative. That was never a defense to plagiarism, of course, but, apart from that, she seems lucid and to the point.

I agree. Gawker's "crazy lady sent us a letter" framing is wrong. The letter isn't crazy at all.

by Anonymousreply 333October 8, 2021 12:10 PM

I want to cast myself as Deborah Porter, founder and director of the Boston Book Festival.

by Anonymousreply 334October 8, 2021 12:10 PM

"They're the United Colors of Benetton of literati fraudom."

R165, that made me laugh.

by Anonymousreply 335October 8, 2021 12:14 PM

Here’s a photo of the Chunky Monkey group. Ten people, racially mixed, five women and five men.

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by Anonymousreply 336October 8, 2021 12:24 PM

"Chunky Monkeys" is such a twee name, ugh.

by Anonymousreply 337October 8, 2021 12:30 PM

Shunkey Monkey.

by Anonymousreply 338October 8, 2021 12:33 PM

The article was great - making me "care" about people and a world that I know little about. It was a page turner.

Can I say that I love the the term "Bad Art Friend" for the obvious reason that it has dual meanings and usages - (1) "bad art" friend and (2) bad "art friend." It woulds also be a great band or album name. Lol.

by Anonymousreply 339October 8, 2021 12:59 PM

I know Deborah Porter and she does not suffer fools.

by Anonymousreply 340October 8, 2021 1:08 PM

^I would've loved to have seen the outrage on De Leon's and Larson's faces after they received her response. Dorland appears to say in her corrections to Gawker that she was similarly rebuked.

by Anonymousreply 341October 8, 2021 1:14 PM

R336 How is that group racially mixed? I see 8 white people and two Asians both whom look half white. No blacks, Hispanics, full Asians, etc. unless I'm missing something. I don't care what the racial mix is but just making an observation.

by Anonymousreply 342October 8, 2021 1:50 PM

I think I’m going to write a story about this.

by Anonymousreply 343October 8, 2021 2:08 PM

Three Asian-American women. A couple of the men could have some other heritage but yes, it is mostly white. I thought it was interesting because most people posting, here and elsewhere, assume the group is entirely women and majority Asian.

by Anonymousreply 344October 8, 2021 2:10 PM

You took the thought right out of my head, R327. It's almost hard to now remember a time when people had no place to air their stupid opinions, other than to friends and acquaintances in real life. Would some people even BE as crazy if internet didn't make them that way?

Since we don't know what she looks like, only that she's awesome – who plays tough-talking Deborah Porter, head of the Boston Book Festival? I think she could be a good supporting character, the "voice of reason."

by Anonymousreply 345October 8, 2021 2:58 PM

Oops just saw R340. Who plays Deborah? What's her type?

by Anonymousreply 346October 8, 2021 2:59 PM

R336 Celeste is definitely the most glamorous of the group. I assume she's top dog because of her Hollywood deal?

by Anonymousreply 347October 8, 2021 3:01 PM

What a story! Everything but the bloodhounds snappin' at her rear end.

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by Anonymousreply 348October 8, 2021 3:04 PM
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by Anonymousreply 349October 8, 2021 3:05 PM

Larson is arrogant.

A cornerstone of arrogance is stupidity.

Larson is so busy being a dumb, arrogant cunt doing dumb, arrogant cunt things (mean girl texts? Who over the age of 14 has time for such shit?) she forgot to become good at her art. So she plagiarizes.

by Anonymousreply 350October 8, 2021 3:10 PM

"mean girl texts? Who over the age of 14 has time for such shit?"

Unfortunately, many, many, people over the age of 14 do.

by Anonymousreply 351October 8, 2021 3:12 PM

Are you sure they’re really neoliberal, r231?

I’ve dealt with a few of these “girl gang” types and I’m always struck by—and depressed by— how regressive they are.

PROUDLY regressive.

by Anonymousreply 352October 8, 2021 3:15 PM

R345 Cherry Jones

by Anonymousreply 353October 8, 2021 3:21 PM

I now really despise Celeste Ng. I regret ever buying her book.

by Anonymousreply 354October 8, 2021 3:22 PM

There is only one actor who can do Dorland justice: Jane Adams

Dorland is the character Adams has played on every show she's been in: Hung, Sneaky Pete and Hacks.

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by Anonymousreply 355October 8, 2021 3:31 PM

Adams is a great choice.

If they want to try to make it "Hollywood!", maybe Demi Moore or Julianne Moore (who does crazy well).

by Anonymousreply 356October 8, 2021 3:35 PM

Have to wonder how things are right now within the group.

"Well, if you all hadn't ENCOURAGED me..."

"YOU dragged us into this!"

"You're making it worse on Twitter!"

I picture a younger Diane Lane as Dawn. But Jane Adams looks good.

by Anonymousreply 357October 8, 2021 3:36 PM

R355 YES!

by Anonymousreply 358October 8, 2021 3:37 PM

Gemma Chan as Larson?

Somone who is or looks clearly mixed Asian, but closer to white than the half-way point. Just throwing out ideas.

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by Anonymousreply 359October 8, 2021 3:40 PM

Ali Wong could nail the mean/funny energy of Larson, and someone a little more intellectual and level-headed for Celeste Ng, maybe Sandra Oh?

by Anonymousreply 360October 8, 2021 3:46 PM

Kidding aside, this could be an excellent limited series if done intelligently.

by Anonymousreply 361October 8, 2021 3:48 PM

I’m not going to be able to watch it now unless it’s Jane Addams, lol. She has a shot! She made it into Hacks.

by Anonymousreply 362October 8, 2021 3:50 PM

Here’s Dawn Dorland.

Laura Dern would be great but maybe too obvious (still I think she’d be perfect). And as someone mentioned above, going back in a time machine and getting a younger Shelly Duvall.

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by Anonymousreply 363October 8, 2021 3:56 PM

White Men should do it in drag and asian face. EVERYONE will be appalled and outraged.

by Anonymousreply 364October 8, 2021 4:03 PM

Larson changed her Twitter banner. She must be feeling scared and defensive.

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by Anonymousreply 365October 8, 2021 4:13 PM

I'm going to stop thinking about this but I'm interested in the exchange on the right. I was told Dorland was crazy. The more I learn the more like Dawn. She can write. Why is Sonya this bored. Did Dawn switch to more of an advocate's tone? Why is she trying to pick this apart? Isn't a hashtag totally totally unremarkable in a Facebook post? Dawn says she's working with someone. Hearing a friend will be "public face" of something = That's great! Get it! Do you! Go girl! "Public face" could be someone will be in an ad or a march or go out and help others. So clearly a good thing. I cannot imagine being PETTY enough to make something of it. I thought the gossip would be more interesting but Sonya Larson is dull.

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by Anonymousreply 366October 8, 2021 4:24 PM

Larson strikes me as too dim witted and frau-ish in her arrested development to make an interesting villain.

I mean, she IS a villain… just not an interesting one. A hausfrau villain.

What does she actually do for a living, anyway?

by Anonymousreply 367October 8, 2021 4:46 PM

Laura Linney in her cool, forbidding mode.

by Anonymousreply 368October 8, 2021 4:59 PM

R366 That text exchange is quite damning.

by Anonymousreply 369October 8, 2021 5:06 PM

I've posted this on DL before: a few years ago, I was working as an adjunct writing teacher (college) and, in a two-sentence email to a group/shared email account for the enrollment department, criticized how they responded to a young woman student. Their tone in emails to her was dismissive and outright contemptuous. Two days later, I received an email from our division's dean, tsk-ing for me being mean to Enrollment. This is fine, but she demanded an email apology with about six different cc's on it. All women at various administrative levels, whose sole involvement was being offended by my email, which had clearly been forwarded around like a pass-around bottom.

She fucked up by accidentally emailing the entire exchange of snarky emails between various women in staff positions. The thread showed how it escalated and the piling on began and the demands for contrition started. 'He needs to be taught a lesson' was used a few times. Dipshits.

They had to pay me $50,000 and I used the money to go back to school for a lucrative technical certificate and GTFO. You see, said dean had pulled the same thing on a woman adjunct just a year before and only two months previously, the school had been forced to settle with said woman adjunct after a great deal of ugly coverage in local papers and $44,000 in court costs plus an undisclosed settlement, all drawn from the school's meager reserve fund. Always do your research, bitches. You can find gold.

A lifelong fan of soaps, I provided the damning email thread of escalation to the school's legal department, asking if they were prepared to enable these people for another $44,000 plus settlement plus news coverage which I promised I could deliver. The dean in question was fired and they paid me quite a bit of money that I used to start a new and much better life, fat from academe.

I'd like to thank Jill Abbott of Young and the Restless, whose 'I want 20% of Jabot, John' speech inspired my response. Who said trash TV doesn't teach us something?

Their sloppiness and mean girlness cost them a hell of a lot of money. They did it to another woman and they did it to a gay man and they ain't doing it anymore. Lotsa luck, honey.

by Anonymousreply 370October 8, 2021 5:29 PM

R324 Pretty telling how she tries to act like the bitchy texts were only between Asian women and so any attacks on them are racist, when actually R336's photo shows they're mostly white.

You'd think Larson defenders would've learned not to use the race card quite so stupidly.

R365 Oh that's hilarious

by Anonymousreply 371October 8, 2021 5:58 PM

And we see the seeds of using WOC as a defence - Alison, you dirty bitch! (From R366's link). And Alison is almost certain to be white, right?

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by Anonymousreply 372October 8, 2021 6:08 PM

Oh they just kept digging and digging

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by Anonymousreply 373October 8, 2021 6:09 PM

And yes, this was before she changed the sign off in the in-story letter to "Kindly"

by Anonymousreply 374October 8, 2021 6:11 PM

What's fascinating is that in their own minds they are celebrities.

by Anonymousreply 375October 8, 2021 6:14 PM

So many facets.... Roxane gonna Roxane. Utterly predictable race-based comment. A dark part of me was tempted to respond that if they were black they'd have been baby mommas with the same man, fighting over who he'd stay with after he gets out of prison.

by Anonymousreply 376October 8, 2021 6:22 PM

You did respond, only on DL. You got your "revenge" racist post out there, so you achieved what you wanted to achieve.

by Anonymousreply 377October 8, 2021 6:26 PM

I see Merritt Weaver as Dawn. She played a damaged cult survivor on Law & Order. She could nail the annoying but still wronged aspects.

by Anonymousreply 378October 8, 2021 7:10 PM

So, if a white woman has a legitimate, documented complaint-- about plagiarism or anything else-- she should just drop it because "Karen" and "white women's tears"? Dawn Orland was presented as a weird stalker in the NYT piece, but what is going into someone else's private Facebook group, screenshotting their private posts, sharing those private posts with your friends, using some sentences from those posts verbatim in your published stories, and building your work around this person for YEARS? Who is the creepy one, here? Yes, Dawn was attention seeking, annoying, and obnoxious, but Larson is the one who was, and probably still is, obsessed.

As far as plagiarism, I do believe that private posts in a private Facebook group that YOU created would be considered "letters" and thus be covered by the Salinger case. And because Larson admitted, in texts to friends, her trepidation at her story's looming publishing date, she's going to have a very hard time proving she did not realize this was plagiarism.

As far as the reaction to the NYT story, social media has created an environment where everyone feels they MUST have an opinion about every issue, and that that opinion must be shared immediately. That's what a lot of Twitter users did in this case, and now that more facts are coming out, they've got egg on their faces. Damn, just wait and watch for a few days.

by Anonymousreply 379October 8, 2021 7:15 PM

[quote]And because Larson admitted, in texts to friends, her trepidation at her story's looming publishing date, she's going to have a very hard time proving she did not realize this was plagiarism

I'd say it was impossible, especially given she's in writing admitting what she did was unethical, and she was so desperate to cover it up that she was willing to offer Audible another short story of hers for free if only they re-recorded the original story to cover up the plagiarism.

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by Anonymousreply 380October 8, 2021 7:18 PM

This episode shows how bullying is a social bonding experience. People unite around mocking someone; they enjoy their feeling of collective superiority. And the victim is stigmatized just because they are the victim; people assume they must somehow be at fault.

by Anonymousreply 381October 8, 2021 7:51 PM

R370 "He needs to e taught a lesson"

Fraus need to keep their hysterical need to scold at home with the children where it belongs. Also I've noticed that when they are accused of being not nice to younger, prettier, or 'outgroup' women they double down and play the victim angle. They never apoligize for their awful behavior. Every place I have worked has a coven of schoolmarm fraus just like this.

by Anonymousreply 382October 8, 2021 7:55 PM

Celeste Ng must be all kinds of pissed right now.

by Anonymousreply 383October 8, 2021 8:17 PM

pissed at herself for being a mean cunt?

by Anonymousreply 384October 8, 2021 8:20 PM

R384 Well, pissed that people think so, for sure. Also pissed to have been dragged into this by her friend's foolishness? Pissed that she herself arguably made it worse on Twitter?

by Anonymousreply 385October 8, 2021 8:33 PM

"Who is the 'Bad Art Friend'?" should be an anthology TV series presenting various stories of from the little-known underworlds of various art communities - the MFA in writing,/literary publishing world; regional theater companies; gay men's choruses; actual physical art communities (like Marfa), to name a few. Think of all the material and the crazy characters and story lines that could be developed.

Obviously this story will be first episode.

by Anonymousreply 386October 8, 2021 8:42 PM

Stay away from fiction writers at all costs. They are narcissistic and manipulative drama queens. They hold everyone but themselves beneath contempt.

by Anonymousreply 387October 8, 2021 8:46 PM

Has anyone heard the term “art friend” before? Work friend, writer friend, sure. But ART FRIEND? Who says that?

by Anonymousreply 388October 8, 2021 8:53 PM

R386 There haven't really been any good, true-to-life contemporary art/literature-world drama series. Have there?

R348 Miss Larson has been told off in no uncertain terms all over the internet. Miss Dorland should be happy to hear that.

by Anonymousreply 389October 8, 2021 8:53 PM

R340, Please tell her that she has some fans here. Shutting that crap down was delicious!

by Anonymousreply 390October 8, 2021 8:54 PM

R388 It sounded to me like one of those odd terms one makes up on the fly, in conversation. "Personal" friend versus a friend who is supportive of your "art," it makes sense.

It sure has entered the lexicon now!

by Anonymousreply 391October 8, 2021 8:58 PM

It was meant to be a joke OP

Someone upthread explained the double meaning.

by Anonymousreply 392October 8, 2021 9:00 PM

^^R388, not OP

by Anonymousreply 393October 8, 2021 9:00 PM

Yeah, I like that the author used it even if it's not a widely established term. It fits the story perfectly. Maybe it will take off to describe people who have commonalities through art and want to distinguish between their real friends and people with whom they have a heightened relationship with via art - like local theater productions or something.

by Anonymousreply 394October 8, 2021 9:03 PM

“Kindly ask your friends not to write to us" - Deborah Porter to Larson. "Kindly," mind you.

by Anonymousreply 395October 8, 2021 9:03 PM

In the movie, Deborah Porter is an audience favorite, impact character, even though she only has a few brief scenes of her talking to her Book Fair compatriots about the issue/problem that's growing or communicating with Larson.

Cherry Jones wins Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work.

by Anonymousreply 396October 8, 2021 9:08 PM

There really is potential for some sort of comic melodrama here. There's no way it's not being hashed out somewhere in Hollywood. I mean, naturally diverse casting, low budget requirements and lots of juicy parts for women. Is Reese Witherspoon polishing her producer credentials, getting prepared to duke it out with Ryan Murphy?

by Anonymousreply 397October 8, 2021 9:19 PM

If this were being made in the late 1970s, possibly by Lorimar, Barbara Babcock would be a great Deborah Porter.

by Anonymousreply 398October 8, 2021 9:20 PM

Woody Allen actually made a movie about this issue, the dreadful "Deconstructing Harry".

Allen has at times mined his own life for movie script material, and in "DH" he plays a writer who has alienated everyone in his life by doing so. The film is excruciating to watch, Allen lets all his guilt and self-hatred onto the screen, with all the other characters berating "Harry" for betraying them, and "Harry" realizing that nobody likes him and it's all his own fault. He doesn't even change at the end, so don't waste your time on watching what amounts to Woody Allen's futile therapy session.

by Anonymousreply 399October 8, 2021 9:38 PM

Wouldn’t Reese Witherspoon have a conflict of interest though? She produced and starred in a limited series adapted from Celeste Ng’s “Little Fires Everywhere.” Celeste would undoubtedly be a supporting character in this.

by Anonymousreply 400October 8, 2021 9:38 PM

What is Sonya Larson’s mental state today, I wonder. I’ve been a gossipy cunt myself and if I got called out via the NYT, Twitter, and Data lounge, Reddit etc, I would be scratching my face off and howling at the moon.

Makes me want to behave in a more kindly manner!

Just fyi, I tend to cunt on people with more power, such as bosses, more attractive men dating my ex….

by Anonymousreply 401October 8, 2021 9:40 PM

R401, that’s the key thing: always punch up. Do not punch down.

by Anonymousreply 402October 8, 2021 9:45 PM

One Frau-y thing about Larson's character of "Rose" is that she's what the article calls an "unbridled narcissist." Many women these days seem to be obsessed with "narcissists."

R401 If it were me, I would write a heartfelt mea culpa, tearfully own it, settle, and then write about my own experience being dragged and redeemed. However, Sonya seems stubborn to say the least. Unfortunately for her, Dawn is dogged and has a case.

One thing I don't understand – if Sonya sued first, did she know all her communications would be subject to scrutiny? That would be enough to make me back right the fuck down!

by Anonymousreply 403October 8, 2021 9:46 PM

R370 - god that story was SO satisfying I nearly came haha. Seriously, good on you! When you said the dean was fired that was just amazing.

R372-R373 - Jesus! It's even worse than I thought. If Roxane's stomach must've just dropped into her feet. "Oh god, I've done it again, hitched myself to the worst person - ie Sarah Dessen and Wendy Ortiz". I bet as soon as she's aware she'll start scrubbing all her "Larson did nothing wrong" and "this is a problem with white women" posts.

by Anonymousreply 404October 8, 2021 9:57 PM

^That "If" shouldn't be in there!

by Anonymousreply 405October 8, 2021 9:58 PM

There is rampant classism in the art world. They look down on poor people.

by Anonymousreply 406October 8, 2021 10:04 PM

R403, Lawson would be extremely unwise to issue that public mea culpa while the lawsuit is still ongoing, basically an arrangement to settle would need to be made *before* the apology is issued, for obvious reasons. And I doubt a settlement will happen while this story is getting its 15 minutes of fame.

In a way, I feel a bit sorry for Lawson, because all writers do this to some extent, and they rarely get called on it. Hell, there have even been movies about this - not just "Deconstructing Harry", but in the fluff rom-com "Music and Lyrics" the Drew Barrymore character has had her life ruined by an ex-lover publishing a best-selling novel that was based on her life, and in "Gone Girl" the Amy character had her life ruined by her parents using her as the inspiration for a series of children's books, etc. This has been going on for centuries, it's about time this was debated, and that writers got called on the times when they failed to disguise their source of inspiration well enough.

by Anonymousreply 407October 8, 2021 10:04 PM

But this isn't a subjective "source of inspiration" issue. Larson did use Dorland's life as inspiration but the lawsuit is rooted more in straight plagiarism.

by Anonymousreply 408October 8, 2021 10:08 PM

R407 Yes, true, I momentarily forgot this is still being litigated. Whew, lawyers scrambling.

by Anonymousreply 409October 8, 2021 10:13 PM

R408, it’s worth pointing out again that Larson is the one who sued, claiming that she was defamed. Basically she made the same mistake as Oscar Wilde. You have to wonder if she knows that story.

by Anonymousreply 410October 8, 2021 10:26 PM

Larson thinks her victimization by the whitie she stole from is UNIQUE and CONTEMPORARY: They all think they invented everything, are so very avant garde, and that their shit don't stink.

by Anonymousreply 411October 8, 2021 10:28 PM

Larson's problem with the White Woman Defense is that anyone who sees her thinks "attractive white woman....she looks a little Asian maybe? Could just be the lighting."


Not Wong or Kwan or something identifiably Chinese.

by Anonymousreply 412October 8, 2021 10:32 PM

These women weaponising racial issues merely for their own interest creep me out. You wonder if they really care about racism, except for what they can get out of bringing it up. I don't blame every non white person on those NYT comments being pissed off.

by Anonymousreply 413October 8, 2021 10:35 PM

Plus the white woman defense is just wrong in this situation no matter how non-white Larson does or does not look. If she was Black like Daniel Brooks it wouldn't make sense.

by Anonymousreply 414October 8, 2021 10:37 PM

I meant Danielle Brooks.

by Anonymousreply 415October 8, 2021 10:41 PM

Remember, all this took place a few years ago. Maybe the climate has shifted a bit, people get sick of it.

by Anonymousreply 416October 8, 2021 10:46 PM

The whole white saviour thing does seem very 2018...

by Anonymousreply 417October 8, 2021 10:55 PM

"“The reason writers have largely circled the wagons for Sonya Larson isn't because she's more popular or because we don't care about plagiarism, it's because apparently unlike a lot of you, we know what plagiarism actually is.”"

If the writers are circling the wagons around Larson, and I'll have to take your word on that because I cant' be arsed to even look at Twitter, it's not because of their superior understanding of plagiarism.

It's because all fiction is inspired by real life, to a greater or lesser degree, and if they've got any sense at all they have to be worried about the legal repercussions of using real-life situations as inspiration. All writers do this, and sometimes it's totally anonymous and harmless, some jerk offends their sensibilities driving on the freeway and they create a minor villain character who drives a Ford pickup and who enjoys endangering other drivers. But sometimes they write about real relationships or real people and change the names, and sometimes it's obvious that they're writing about an ex-spouse or their parents' marriage, and maybe they've also suffered blowback in private life. Which is bad enough, from their POV, but if there was ever a legal precedent that penalizes writing about other people's lives or if the Twiter mobs make doing this a social crime... then they'll all have to give up writings and concentrate on their day jobs. You bet your ass the fiction writers will defend Larson, and the right to write about people they know without permission!

by Anonymousreply 418October 9, 2021 12:07 AM

I don’t understand why Larson didn’t fictionalize the details . It would have been so easy to do.

And the other theme / character was more interesting anyway— asshole gets new lease on life when she gets a kidney, but chooses to remain unrepentant asshole.

Maybe unrepentant asshole character was based on Larson herself.

by Anonymousreply 419October 9, 2021 12:13 AM

I think she didn't change it because she wanted Dorland to see her own words, and Larson wanted to make sure Dorland knew it was about her. I'm guessing she thought Dorland would've been too star-struck or was just too meek to take it further like she did.

by Anonymousreply 420October 9, 2021 12:19 AM

In Agatha Christie's autobiography she spoke about how she might see some people, say, on a train. A man with a black beard and his older wife, accompanied by a poor relation as a companion, and it would spark off a whole story about them. BUT, if those people had spoken to her, if she had met them and got to know them, she couldn't write about them properly because they wouldn't be as filled with possibilities. They'd be constrained by what she knew about them.

I find that interesting in this discussion, because on the other hand there are authors who really can only seem to write by sailing very close to the bone.

R420, those emails above seem to show you are correct. She WANTED Dorland to see it, she was nervous but excited at the same time to think of how Dorland would take it. She sounds horrid.

by Anonymousreply 421October 9, 2021 12:21 AM

Dorland would know, and the in group would know. And yeah, Larson figured what was Dorland gonna do about it?

But she sabotaged herself with that letter excerpt, and blabbing to her friends. I wonder if any of them are now distancing themselves. Why the hell didn't a single one (that we know of) say, "Sonya, you better not." I like to think I would have, it's just so fucking obvious. Well, whatever happens with this case, Dawn has essentially won.

So ironic that Larson and Ng are so smugly convinced other people have a blind spot about how they come off.

by Anonymousreply 422October 9, 2021 12:37 AM

Smugness is a really unattractive quality, which I think is definitely part of why they are getting very little sympathy, R422. Along with the rest of the stuff.

by Anonymousreply 423October 9, 2021 12:46 AM

R372 it appears from some of the chats Alison is white.

I'm sure if I knew Dawn IRL I would find her martyr complex annoying and exhausting. But Larson is a straight up mean girl, and it is amazing that for all her self-congratulatory race awareness, she clearly has given no thought to the implications of a very white passing woman weaponize anti-racism to deflect from her unethical behavior.

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by Anonymousreply 424October 9, 2021 1:06 AM

And yes Deborah Porter is the ONLY hero of this mess.

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by Anonymousreply 425October 9, 2021 1:09 AM

From what I've read, I personally don't see Dawn as having a martyr or savior complex. I just don't see obnoxiousness or excessive virtue-signaling in her posts. She strikes me as a hippy-dippy bleeding heart do-gooder who really means it.

by Anonymousreply 426October 9, 2021 1:16 AM

"Jenn" should be the new "Karen".

by Anonymousreply 427October 9, 2021 1:16 AM

Porter's letter is even better than I imagined, haha!

by Anonymousreply 428October 9, 2021 1:18 AM

I love how Jenn makes sure to mention her fucking due date. What a sad attempt to claim even a speck of moral authority.

by Anonymousreply 429October 9, 2021 1:20 AM

I like how Sonya assures Alison she's one of the good ones.

by Anonymousreply 430October 9, 2021 1:25 AM

Haha, I know, right R430? It's amazing how often people who claim to be anti-racist end up invoking racist tropes, isn't it? I'm noticing this a lot lately.

by Anonymousreply 431October 9, 2021 1:31 AM

[quote]Why the hell didn't a single one (that we know of) say, "Sonya, you better not."

Aside from them being as awful as her, I imagine Larson avoids people who might tell her no or disagree with her.

by Anonymousreply 432October 9, 2021 1:34 AM

after this little tempest in a teapot is over, can we invite Lawson here?

I think she'd fit right in, smug mean girl that she is, mean enough to despise this little wannabe writer frau just because she's done some genuinely decent things.

by Anonymousreply 433October 9, 2021 1:38 AM

[quote] I think she'd fit right in, smug mean girl that she is

Why would we want her here? She's mean, not very clever, and portrays herself as a victim of racism. I'd rather invite a horde of Meghan Markle fraus than this cunt and her ilk.

by Anonymousreply 434October 9, 2021 1:41 AM

Love this letter!!!

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by Anonymousreply 435October 9, 2021 1:43 AM

R433, she wouldn't fit in here. She has a touch as heavy as an anvil. Imagine, calling a short story about a purported white savior "The Kindest." Don't you love the "irony" of it, the way it ham-handedly tells you what to think? So creative!

by Anonymousreply 436October 9, 2021 1:44 AM

R425 Oh god that is SO good.

This line from the email from Larson's friend:

[quote]BBF has championed her work and I believe, should continue to do so, despite and perhaps because of the ridiculous claims by Dawn Dorland.

Comma placement aside (and this bitch is a writer?), the fact she wrote this shit, despite knowing the claims weren't ridiculous.

by Anonymousreply 437October 9, 2021 1:44 AM

She's a ham-fisted douche.

Dorland would be WAY more interesting here. It also probably wouldn't work, but still, I think it would be more interesting has her needy and hippy dippy ways confronted DL at its best and worst.

by Anonymousreply 438October 9, 2021 1:46 AM

According to Dumplings Talusan, no one can ever criticise the behaviour of an Asian American:

[quote]hashtag stop asian hate was definitely an overwheming success when westerners are now fully comfortable characterizing asian women they don't know as "sneaky" or "cruel"

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by Anonymousreply 439October 9, 2021 1:46 AM

Some of this story reminds me of this classic.

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by Anonymousreply 440October 9, 2021 1:47 AM

R439 Since when do you need to know someone to decide they're cruel? Her follow up tweets are even more unhinged

[quote]the hashtag raised so much awareness around "anti-asian racism" that all asian women are white and immune to xenophobia and misogyny and those of us who "pull the race card" are simply just bad faith idpol provocateurs

[quote]the combo of hashtag stop asian hate and the marvel movie elevated all asian american women into the ruling class and now we have absolutely no reason to complain about anything. the power of representation and social media. wow. we should be grateful.

I sense another GoFundMe being set up

by Anonymousreply 441October 9, 2021 1:49 AM

Hahaha R441, Dumplings sure loves herself a good GoFundMe!

by Anonymousreply 442October 9, 2021 1:50 AM

I want pics when Lawson is spotted teaching basic English composition to poor WHITE trash at Quinsigamond Community College, on a rainy, bitterly cold November evening.

by Anonymousreply 443October 9, 2021 1:52 AM

R443, I salute you for making it a night class in rainy November. Well played.

by Anonymousreply 444October 9, 2021 1:58 AM

Lawson and Dorland are really just housewives, aren't they.

by Anonymousreply 445October 9, 2021 2:28 AM

This must be one of NYT’s top articles of the year already.

I haven’t felt this sense of schadenfreude since Hilaria Baldwin in Dec 2020.

by Anonymousreply 446October 9, 2021 2:55 AM

"Dawn just continues to fascinate me. FASCINATE ME."

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by Anonymousreply 447October 9, 2021 2:57 AM

Oh my god, Hilaria Baldwin and Los Baldwinitos! Hahahaha.

Something that clearly resonates with this article is how many people have experience of nasty people like the Chunky Monkeys. I cannot tell you the number of times at high school I saw girls behaving like this towards some poor awkward girl* who they looked down on, and then if you or someone else called them out on it, and particularly if the girl herself stood up, the maniupulation tactics employed to try and cast themselves as the victims in all of it. Female dynamics can be really intense.

Of course, this group aren't all women, though I get the feeling this issue was lead by the women in the group. But the behaviour reminds me so much of high school girls.

*Dorland is obviously more than this though, she is pretty intense herself, which adds another interesting dimension to the story.

by Anonymousreply 448October 9, 2021 3:00 AM

I loved this comment I found elsewhere. So true!

[quote]I'm sorry, roxane gay saying other people have too much free time? I only EVER hear about her when she's getting involved in internet nonsense

by Anonymousreply 449October 9, 2021 3:05 AM

And following on from that:

[quote]i'm surprised we didn't see something about roxane telling larson that now she has a nemesis


[quote]Thank you! I was like not you of all people acting like being petty and dramatic for no reason is just a white women problem. I hate that people think they can say any kind of misogynistic comment and they are in the clear as long as they put “white” in front of it


[quote]right?? lmao she is one of the most terminally online people

So it's not just DL that is feeling this, haha.

by Anonymousreply 450October 9, 2021 3:09 AM

I love the “casualties” of this more than Sonya, actually. Roxane, Celeste. The limited series of this will be EPIC.

by Anonymousreply 451October 9, 2021 3:40 AM

Who play's Roxanne Gay in the film? Monique is too brash. Maybe Danielle Brooks?

by Anonymousreply 452October 9, 2021 3:45 AM

Actually, I'm gonna nominate Radha Blank. She wrote and stared in The 40 Year Old Version on Netflix, which I loved. She'd be great.

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by Anonymousreply 453October 9, 2021 3:58 AM

I like the look of her R453, as long as the film/tv series doesn't shy away from showing Roxane's true colors! :)

by Anonymousreply 454October 9, 2021 4:14 AM

"starred" not "stared"

by Anonymousreply 455October 9, 2021 4:18 AM

R451 I know exactly what you mean. Then you have Dumplings Talusan ranting about it and getting retweeted by Myriam Gurba... it's like a who's who or who's insane in the literary and academic world.

by Anonymousreply 456October 9, 2021 4:37 AM

Annette Bening for Deborah Porter.

Sonya and Dawn were 34-41 during 2015-2021, so cast accordingly.

Will the Chunky Monkeys disband?

by Anonymousreply 457October 9, 2021 4:44 AM

[quote] From what I've read, I personally don't see Dawn as having a martyr or savior complex.

I find it interesting they were threatened by what she was doing. It's like Ng and Larson couldn't conceive of someone wanting to do something legitimately worthwhile that wasn't about writing.

by Anonymousreply 458October 9, 2021 4:50 AM

Celeste Ng keeps hinting there's more to the story. I could see some texts where we see Dawn losing it. There was several transcripts of Chunky Monkeys being assholes today. More to come looks like.

by Anonymousreply 459October 9, 2021 4:52 AM

I wonder if Ng will come through with more, or if it's just hinting at things to try and keep a moral high ground? After the leaking of those transcripts above, if there is more evidence of bad behaviour on Dawn's side, it will absolutely be released, I'm sure.

I visited my mother and sitting on her dresser is a copy of Tiny Little Fires Burning Picket Fences or whatever the hell that book is called. I think she's reading it for her book club. Timely!

by Anonymousreply 460October 9, 2021 5:16 AM

“So it's not just DL that is feeling this”

stop trying to drag an entire website into your personal culture war. Nobody even knows who this person is except one obsessed troll.

by Anonymousreply 461October 9, 2021 5:19 AM

That book fair lady was not having any of it.

by Anonymousreply 462October 9, 2021 5:19 AM

I have no idea what R461 is going on about. Roxane Gay is fairly well known.

As I'm reading up more on organ donation the more I think that while Dawn's needy and kinda unhinged side came out afterwards, (a) would they have let her donate if she'd been in any way considered mentally unsuitable and (b) would a person really go through all that JUST for attention? It seems like a pretty serious operation with potential health risks. I can't imagine someone going through all of that just for selfish reasons. Unless she's insane, in which case the hospital would've discouraged her.

Someone else I was reading said that donors are usually encouraged to spread the word about their donation (to encourage others). Perhaps someone with a needy personality like Dawn just took that and ran with it in what seemed like an overbearing manner?

by Anonymousreply 463October 9, 2021 5:25 AM

Dawn seems intense, emotional. A feeler as they said in the article. Not everyone's cup of tea. The idea you would give a kidney for selfish reasons is bearing out to be a high school level mean girl fantasy.

by Anonymousreply 464October 9, 2021 5:33 AM

Well thats the thing, Dawn has actually done altruistic things, and these bitches have mocked and belittled her for it, dismissed generosity as "white savioring" even though there was no racial angle. But the important thing is that DD actually did do something generous, really helped someone, and to any sane person that should matter more than her being mildly annoying while doing so.

Everything that Lawson and her clique are shown to do makes them look worse.

by Anonymousreply 465October 9, 2021 5:51 AM

And Roxanne Gay has joined thrme discussion, at R461.

Hi, Roxie!

by Anonymousreply 466October 9, 2021 5:55 AM

Donating a kidney, especially to an unknown recipient, is absolutely a selfless act and it's ridiculous to assert someone would do it just for attention. However, that doesn't mean a person who would do it isn't also capable of narcissism or at the very least a desire for accolades. In Dawn's case her need for recognition is clearly connected to her childhood trauma and some serious mental health issues. That makes her sympathetic in this story, but I can imagine she could be really difficult to deal with in person. That Sonya could only see (and exploit) the negative about her says quite a bit about her own limitations and unlikeability. At least Dawn has some self-awareness of her issues; WTF is Sonya's excuse?

by Anonymousreply 467October 9, 2021 5:58 AM

Court docket for Larson Vs Dorland.

You can read Dorland's correspondence with news outlets and reporters in 2018 (pitching the story), with Grub Street, Larson's workplace,The Boston Book Festival, Bread Loaf, American Short Story etc. Larson's case is laid out. Harrassment by Dorland of the Chunkies, Grub Street, Larson, the BBF, and others seems clear. Maybe that's what Ng was alluding to R460. You can also read Larson's short story,The Kindest. It's included in the transcript. Not bad.

I was disgusted by the group text and the plagiarism, but after reading this, I think there is more to the story.

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by Anonymousreply 468October 9, 2021 5:58 AM

I love that the story is available for free on the internet thanks to this lawsuit. Lawson in her pithy statement about the article linked to it of course, but to a pay site.

by Anonymousreply 469October 9, 2021 6:02 AM

R450 go make your own thread about obscure nobodies that wronged you on the internet.

Stop trying to hog this one with multiple posts and going way off topic into some personal vendetta.

by Anonymousreply 470October 9, 2021 6:03 AM

Roxane at R470, I don't know you. But if you didn't want to be mentioned you shouldn't have inserted yourself into this drama , pushing the non-existent racial aspect.

by Anonymousreply 471October 9, 2021 6:05 AM

R403 Fraus love calling out 'narcissists' with absolutely no irony in realizing that they are huge narcissists themselves.

by Anonymousreply 472October 9, 2021 6:20 AM

There's a lot of psychological assessment of people being done these days by those who haven't a clue what they are talking about, that's for sure.

by Anonymousreply 473October 9, 2021 6:21 AM

Shoot the Tweets in R424-R427 have been converted to private. Whose Tweets were they? And what did they contain?

by Anonymousreply 474October 9, 2021 6:31 AM

I've reached my limit of free articles so can't read it. womp womp

by Anonymousreply 475October 9, 2021 6:34 AM

R474, oh that's interesting! I've seen them reproduced elsewhere I'm sure, so maybe keep looking around?

They were basically the emails back and forth between Deborah Porter of the Boston Book Festival and two members of the "Chunky Monkeys", Jennifer De Leon and Sonya Larson. The first email was Jennifer writing to Deborah to let her know how unhappy she was that the event had been cancelled and begging her to put it back on again. She spoke about how the story should be available again [italic]because[/italic] Dawn was the way she was, and also accused the whole thing of being about a "white savior".

Then Deborah wrote back to Jennifer and basically was incensed that Jennifer would write to her like that, explained exactly why they couldn't go ahead with it, and told her that it had nothing to do with the "white savior" narrative Jenn tried to push. You could see Deborah was pretty pissed at the racial thing being dangled over their heads. It was a great email.

She then wrote to Larson, telling her to get her friends (ie De Leon) to stop writing to the BBF and mentioned that they had grounds to sue Larson if they wanted to.

by Anonymousreply 476October 9, 2021 6:40 AM


by Anonymousreply 477October 9, 2021 6:43 AM

Real Housewives of the MFAs

by Anonymousreply 478October 9, 2021 6:53 AM

R468 Reading the complaint. It's not harrassment to try and prevent someone from profiting from your intellectual property. That Dorland wanted people to know what Larson had done and contacted publications to get the story out is also not out of bounds. Journalists get pitched stories all the time.

Larson's problem is that she plagiarized the letter and her exchanges with other members of her group show that and that she refused to change it because "it was too good." That's a smoking gun. The letter's not in public domain and very little of it is paraphrased. She didn't just lift a line of it. Seriously, this is the sort of stuff that costs people jobs in academia or in publishing.

The complaint is Larson's take on the case and, yeah, I believe that Dorland got pretty obsessive in contacting people about the plagiarism, BUT that does not exonerate Larson. That's the ethical issue that Larson and her buddies don't seem to get. That someone is off-kilter and not likeable doesn't get you off the hook when it comes to stealing their work (on a legal front) or trying to humiliate and belittle them for sacrificing a kidney (on a moral front.)

by Anonymousreply 479October 9, 2021 6:53 AM

I get the impression from some of those group messages that were leaked that the Chunky Monkeys really didn't expect Dawn would be [italic]able[/italic] to do anything but read the story and have whatever feelings she had about it. There's almost this element of "how dare she not have just read it and felt embarrassed like I meant her to". Bullies hate it when people stand up to them, but not only that, they often seem almost outraged that someone would have the temerity not to take it lying down. Someone like Dawn with her particular personality was really the wrong person to be fucking with.

by Anonymousreply 480October 9, 2021 7:00 AM

There’s an article up on Jezebel by a woman who knew Dawn in college and found her repellent without really being able to explain why. This woman also wrote a story about her (unpublished!).

These people.

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by Anonymousreply 481October 9, 2021 7:12 AM

Jennifer De Leon is Latina. Here's her blurb:

Jennifer De Leon is author of Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From and editor of Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education. De Leon has published prose in over a dozen literary journals, including Ploughshares, the Iowa Review, and Michigan Quarterly Review, and is a GrubStreet instructor and board member. She is assistant professor of creative writing at Framingham State University and makes her home in the Boston area.

Her family is from Guatemala.

So more casting diversity.

R480 I think you're right. Dawn was just supposed to be quietly and deeply humiliated, not go out for blood. That's the downside of bigotry, you're so busy despising people and reducing them to stereotypes that you miss what's going on. Part of what was going on with the WOC section of the Chunky Monkeys is that they truly believe they're exceptional, genuinely superior to the Dawn Dorlands of the world.

Which is why they're having such a hard time reading the room, surely people can't be siding with that godawful white woman over *them*. (With the added bonus of several POC calling them on it. ) They're just not processing it, thus the continued blunders.

They should have gotten a clue when Deborah Porter sent her letter.

by Anonymousreply 482October 9, 2021 7:14 AM

If Dorland sent communications that sound unhinged out of context, well, she had a legitimate reason to be angry with these people.

I'd bet real money assumed that Lawson assumed that Dorland would be a pushover, most people who spend their lives seeking approval and wanting to be liked are. But this is someone who clawed her way up from a white trash upbringing to get an education and enter the middle class, she's not a pushover at all

by Anonymousreply 483October 9, 2021 7:18 AM

Watch the NYT writer get this article optioned for a movie starring Constance Wu and Rooney Mara

by Anonymousreply 484October 9, 2021 7:35 AM

R481, a commenter wrote that people with autism frequently strike others as unnerving or disturbing, and thought that might have been going on with Dawn. I don’t know about that specifically, but it’s a reminder that Larson’s defenders, the ones confidently claiming that Dawn is “crazy”, may be showing their unenlightened attitude about mental health issues.

by Anonymousreply 485October 9, 2021 7:36 AM

I read that too, R485 and it broke my heart a little.

That Jezebel article really didn't add anything to the conversation either.

by Anonymousreply 486October 9, 2021 7:41 AM


[quote]I’d tweet how much Sonya Larson sucks as a person, but then she’d probably plagiarize it, Celeste Ng would jump in and enable her, and then they’d all cry race and privilege, not realizing I’m Asian, too

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by Anonymousreply 487October 9, 2021 8:00 AM

I wonder how Celeste would feel if people took this recent tweet and claimed she did it for "Saviour" purposes.

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by Anonymousreply 488October 9, 2021 8:04 AM

R485, I saw that as well and, yeah, something about Dawn is clearly off, but her letters don't seem insane, per se. Dumplings Talusan sounds way loonier, for example. So, something like autism could be at work. In which case, yeah, the reaction of the Chunky Monkey gang gets sketchier. And Dawn Dorland's contacting everyone about covering the story goes with that kind of focus people with some issues, like autism or ADHD, can get--think Greta Thunberg.

The Chunky Monkey gals clearly think Dorland was just supposed to get over it--cuz, you know, white privilege is evil--but if Dorland's autistic, well, she actually can't get over it or look away. I mean this is a woman who gave up a kidney--those altruistic stranger donations are rare. It's not a "normal" thing to do and it goes well beyond your usual White Savior narrative. She was obsessive enough about something to give up that kidney, so maybe it shouldn't surprise the Chunky girls that she'd go after a perceived injustice in the same manner.

Really, really stupid to poke someone like that. And I'm finding it way too fascinating.

by Anonymousreply 489October 9, 2021 8:04 AM

Dawn would definitely get more blocks on DL than Sonya.

by Anonymousreply 490October 9, 2021 8:14 AM

R490, Sure, but Sonya's warrior of woke victimhood shtick wouldn't wear well.

by Anonymousreply 491October 9, 2021 8:25 AM

Team Larson seems truly baffled that despite a stream of "Dawn is Crazy" articles in The Atlantic, Jezebel and elsewhere, they are being portrayed as The Bad Guys by the vast majority of the internet.

by Anonymousreply 492October 9, 2021 8:33 AM

There are now 2,295 comments at the NYT and while I sure as hell am not reading all of them, I'd say they're running around 95 percent anti-Larson--Doctors and kidney recipients angry at the belittling of how important kidney donations are, angry writers over Larson's cruelty to Dorland, POC mad about the race card. Armchair lawyers pointing out perjury by Larson. Lots of thoughtful comments, actually. People are engaged and enraged.

I'm now thinking that not only is Larson's career toast, but that Celeste Ng is going to have to come up with a mea culpa to save hers. Even Roxane Gay is going to take a hit. They need to consult some crisis PR management firms--and learn to say, "I was wrong, I suck, I'm sorry, I won't do it again." Oh, and "I'm donating royalties to the National Kidney Foundation."

by Anonymousreply 493October 9, 2021 9:00 AM

I’m team nobody but somewhere in California, Dawn is doing cartwheels while cackling manically.

by Anonymousreply 494October 9, 2021 9:04 AM

[quote]There are now 2,295 comments at the NYT and while I sure as hell am not reading all of them, I'd say they're running around 95 percent anti-Larson--Doctors and kidney recipients angry at the belittling of how important kidney donations are, angry writers over Larson's cruelty to Dorland, POC mad about the race card. Armchair lawyers pointing out perjury by Larson. Lots of thoughtful comments, actually. People are engaged and enraged.

I haven't read them all either, but over the past few days would say I've read a sizeable chunk and I'd say you were pretty accurate with this. As you say, people from all walks of life are so angry at Larson. On the other hand the only people defending Larson appear to be a particular type of woman who writes.

by Anonymousreply 495October 9, 2021 9:08 AM

If this case is being discussed elsewhere, anything entertaining going on there?

And even if Dawn is batshit crazy, irritating, aneurotypical, or attention-seeking, that doesn't make it okay to plagiarize from her or do any of the things that Team Larson has done. Even annoying fraus have legal and civil rights, as we as the right to common courtesy. We tend to forget that here.

by Anonymousreply 496October 9, 2021 9:11 AM

R495 I think the defenders are mostly in Larson's circle, though on Twitter there are some wannabe cool chicks on Team Larson cuz, you know, the Dawns of the world are so annoying. I saw one get called on it by a fellow cool chick who was also, however, recipient of a donated kidney.

Then there was this comment in the NYT--yep, Ng's in trouble: ________________________________________________________ The other thing that is quite astonishing about all this is that Celeste Ng would stick her neck out into the fray. I have worked in television for more than 20 years and know that Ng has damaged her "brand."

I mean, let's be frank, she's not that great a writer, but her work has been adaptable to television, which has made her wealthy.

She's rolling around in the mud with Larson and will find that there's not much market for her adaptations any more, and will wonder why.

Well, it's because WOC, like me, who work in television, are not going to want to be associated with her work. ___________________________________________________________________________-

by Anonymousreply 497October 9, 2021 9:17 AM

I bet Team Larson are surprised that public opinion is going against them!

The thing is, social media allows everyone to live in a bubble and form their own echo chamber, and I bet Larson's writerly woke social media circle, though large, is a solid wokey echo chamber. Betcha they really do dbelieve that it's okay to mine real life, for material, however hurtful, to ostracized lesser or wannabe writers, to treat white women as "less than", and act like a queen bee diva once you're published. But the dismissal of an altruistic act is all Larson, that's not an official part of the woke hive mind.

by Anonymousreply 498October 9, 2021 9:41 AM

Yeah, a Team Larson type at the NYT was fretting about Dawn's need for praise, etc. when donating a kidney. A kidney donor suggested that since he knew all about the right way to donate a kidney that he should go ahead and do it.

Thing is, this has gotten beyond the literary-gossip crowd and into the people concerned about the need for kidney donation--and they are not amused. There are 100,000 people currently on the kidney transplant waiting list. Renal failure's just below diabetes as a leading cause of death. So there are lot of people who really don't give a fuck about Dawn wanting headpats in exchange for her kidney. They have a different set of priorities than the Chunky Monkeys.

by Anonymousreply 499October 9, 2021 10:01 AM

R198 I couldn’t disagree with you more. Maybe I’m mean but who randomly decides to get a kidney removed and donate it to strangers? Someone who is crazy, that’s who. Yes, Larson and co were mean but that was in private conversations between friends and was never meant for public consumption. The same way we may say things here that you would never say in public. The reason she got the kidney out was from a pathological need for attention. She is pretending it was for altruistic reasons. It’s quite sad really.

by Anonymousreply 500October 9, 2021 10:38 AM

R198 apologies, I was trying to reply to someone else and used the wrong comment number. Now I can’t find who I was replying to. Oh dear!

by Anonymousreply 501October 9, 2021 10:44 AM

The UCLA article on Dorland's donation, which inspired the wife of the recipient to donate one of her kidneys (unusual for an Orthodox Jew).

R500. You're assuming a lot and while Dorland might have wanted the attention and praise, it's not wise to assume that these were the only or even primary reasons. She saved a life and her saving that life encourage the wife of the recipient to save another.

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by Anonymousreply 502October 9, 2021 10:48 AM

R500, at a certain point, the fact that someone actually *does* a really great good deed matters more than their motivation. If someone gives a billion dollars to build low-income housing and they're really just doing it for publicity, what really matters is not their motives, it's the fact that thousands or millions or people have a place to live other than the street. Who cares why, as long as it gets done!

Of course giving up one of your kidneys isn't that big, but it's big enough that motives don't really matter. Someone out there has a working kidney because of this woman.

by Anonymousreply 503October 9, 2021 10:52 AM

R492 The corporate media is so bizarrely lock and step. And cowardly too. Note how they tend to go after random people viciously but never have the same zeal towards psychopath CEOs, lobbyist types and war mongering politicians. I've noticed when they do a personal interest article on some powerful person they will always go out of their way to humanize them, no matter how vile their behavior. But when its someone who doesn't have a dozen lawyers at their disposal the claws really come out.

by Anonymousreply 504October 9, 2021 11:21 AM

Sure they both seem awful in the article but does else anyone find themselves going to to Youtube to adjudicate situations like this? Instead having Robert Kolker interpret what these two women are about for us, why not just go straight to the source and do a 2 minute thin slice of each of them in their natural habitats?


Sonya Larson: She went on dates with 140 different guys over the course of 4 years in order to find someone she could "spend the rest of her life with." Throughout this process, she kept spreadsheets on all of them.

(Time stamp: 3:13 start)

Dawn Dorland: Reminds me of Tracy Flick if she shopped at Urban Outfitters.

Verdict: They should spend the rest of their days together, alone on an island. Far away from the rest of us.

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by Anonymousreply 505October 9, 2021 11:45 AM

Here are the Dawn links. This first one is like an organ donation PSA from UCLA.

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by Anonymousreply 506October 9, 2021 11:48 AM

And here she is reading an excerpt from her book. You need to fast forward past the beginning so time stamp for Dawn = 5:53

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by Anonymousreply 507October 9, 2021 11:50 AM

That poor kidney recipient probably wants to shove it back to these losers and maybe give them a penis as well.

by Anonymousreply 508October 9, 2021 12:18 PM

i think what makes the "regular people"responding in the NYT so anti-Larson (J've also scanned the comments and R493 sums them up nicely) is how much of a mean girl she comes off as.

Yes, adult women may roll their eyes at an annoying co-worker or fellow mom at school, but Larson took it to a whole new level.

Then the doubling down and trying to make it seem like Larson, who as noted by many DLers, presents as an attractive white woman names Larson who bears more than a passing resemblance to Joanna Gaines (HGTV), was some sort of race victim, was confirmation for them that she truly was a vile person.

by Anonymousreply 509October 9, 2021 12:33 PM

^^screwed that up by not deleting a piece of the sentence but I suspect you get what I meant

by Anonymousreply 510October 9, 2021 12:35 PM

Gosh, I hope that kidney stays functioning for the donee, because, if not, then even her kidney is rejected!

by Anonymousreply 511October 9, 2021 12:54 PM

Some years ago the children’s author-illustrator Yuyi Morales also donated an undirected kidney (although she’s not as selfless as our girl Dawn, because it did ultimately mean a new kidney for Morales’s cousin).

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by Anonymousreply 512October 9, 2021 1:09 PM

[quote]Sonya Larson: She went on dates with 140 different guys over the course of 4 years in order to find someone she could "spend the rest of her life with." Throughout this process, she kept spreadsheets on all of them.

Well, yikes.

Wasn't there an EST on Reddit recently about some guy who found his boyfriend's old spreadsheet of information about him that he compiled from before they were dating? Sonya was doin' it for real, apparently.

by Anonymousreply 513October 9, 2021 1:13 PM

[quote]Dumplings Talusan sounds way loonier, for example

Of all the nicknames for the second Talusan, this one is my favorite. And my god, yes, she is a lunatic.

by Anonymousreply 514October 9, 2021 1:19 PM

Haha, R514, I love it too, makes me laugh everytime.

[quote]The thing is, social media allows everyone to live in a bubble and form their own echo chamber, and I bet Larson's writerly woke social media circle, though large, is a solid wokey echo chamber.

This is so true. And looking at Roxane again for a minute, she honestly seems to think that social media should be a tool for her to blurt out all her dumbest thoughts with no possibility of interaction, and gets really tetchy when others respond. I think there's a similar feeling among these other writers too.

R504, you've said a whole lot there, I really agree. I've been noticing for a long time how much latitude we're meant to give some pretty evil people, how humanised others like to make them. A lot of people really don't like the idea of speaking truth to power and will try to shame the public for speaking up too much. That story recently about the psycho woman boss at The Wrap, what's the bet there's an article soon talking about her being "a woman in a man's world" or "if she were a man people would think differently", or making sure to focus on all the achievements she's made.

by Anonymousreply 515October 9, 2021 1:46 PM

I read the story. She's a good writer, I guess, I dunno. It seemed a grim little story. Every kind of art these days has to be dark, about some sort of dysfunction. Blech.

by Anonymousreply 516October 9, 2021 2:25 PM

Say what we will, no doubt this whole mess shines a light on kidney donation and will inspire some people to consider it. Even selfish/squeamish I, who would never, found myself thinking about it, just as an exercise. So maybe some good will come of this.

by Anonymousreply 517October 9, 2021 2:40 PM

I haven’t read the article, but I assume these navel gazing, out-of-touch and privileged women are married to well-to-do men who have a real degree and an actual job.

by Anonymousreply 518October 9, 2021 2:41 PM

Backing up a little, writers look for stories, absorb ideas from people around them. What if the problem is you're only around other writers. Can't you go to a bar and pump the guy slumped at the end of the bar for info? In my own creative work I've experimented with inspiring myself by going out and living, having an adventure, seeing something new.

by Anonymousreply 519October 9, 2021 2:57 PM

I will say we can all understand the urge to write about that annoying friend on social media.

by Anonymousreply 520October 9, 2021 3:02 PM

One of the main critiques of "MFA Fiction" R519 is that the people writing it have so little actual life experience.

That is why so many of them write, inauthentically, about the blue collar workers they have met at their summer jobs in college who are often the only adults outside of their families they know who are not somehow affiliated with a university writing program or small literary magazine

by Anonymousreply 521October 9, 2021 3:06 PM

That is a legitimate criticism. Their lives are very limited and not that interesting. The same problem has been true of independent films. Not a fan of his but someone like Hemingway had a very exciting life. No one today has anything like his life experience to draw on so the fiction feels small.

by Anonymousreply 522October 9, 2021 3:11 PM

Roxane talks very casual and dismissively on Twitter and racks up thousands of likes for any one of these missives. Basically incentivised for saying any damn thing. I would love to read her and Celeste going after the college girls. Receipts please!

by Anonymousreply 523October 9, 2021 3:11 PM

Is there a single poster who is obsessed with Roxanne Gay's Twitter?

by Anonymousreply 524October 9, 2021 3:15 PM

There could be but it's not me , R523. She has some bad takes.

by Anonymousreply 525October 9, 2021 3:17 PM

This is a pet peeve of hers. A part of me still thinks Celeste is an intelligent, thoughtful person. Another part says, oh honey, you should be tagged in everything!

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by Anonymousreply 526October 9, 2021 3:42 PM

Does anyone here read literary fiction? I admit I’m much too shallow. I’ll read genre fiction (mysteries set in the UK or Europe), travel writing (again, non-US), memoirs written by non-famous people (eg, The Tender Bar, The Glass Castle) and the classics (yes, Jane Austen is a perennial re-read). I just don’t have the patience or desire to read about middle class suburban lives or depressing poverty-stricken ones.

by Anonymousreply 527October 9, 2021 4:00 PM

Jennifer Weiner, Jodi Picoult.....judging from Twitter, all these gals seem like such stereotypes, though I'm sure they don't see themselves that way.

by Anonymousreply 528October 9, 2021 4:06 PM

Meant to add, I would truly like to read a story about what it's like to be the target of a viral pile-on. It must be terrifying.

by Anonymousreply 529October 9, 2021 4:09 PM

R519, I believe Tom Wolfe addressed this a few years ago. I forget the context, but he basically called out writers for navel-gazing, and said that yes, writers need to write about what they know... but he told them to "know more"!

Basically, he said that navel-gazing is as boring as fuck, and if writers wanted to write authentically about subjects of interest to other people, they should learn to do some fucking research.

by Anonymousreply 530October 9, 2021 4:13 PM

The Chunk Monkeys

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by Anonymousreply 531October 9, 2021 4:13 PM

I love Tom Wolfe’s work. And have noticed that women friends have almost unanimously hated it.

by Anonymousreply 532October 9, 2021 4:17 PM

So what exactly has Celeste Ng done that's supposedly putting her career in peril?

Has she just defended the "WOC" who looks white, defended her plagiarism, or did she participate in the mean-girling?

by Anonymousreply 533October 9, 2021 4:21 PM

I've got the low-brow, bad taste to have Betty Smith's "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" be my all-time favorite piece of fiction, as it is with scores of other readers.

My love for that novel, and Betty Smith, has only been reinforced by reading this entire thread and the NY Times article.

by Anonymousreply 534October 9, 2021 4:24 PM

Glad I'm not a writer. I knew it was competitive but hadn't seen much of how scene-y and relationship dependent it can be.

by Anonymousreply 535October 9, 2021 4:26 PM

Ugh. I hate people.

by Anonymousreply 536October 9, 2021 4:30 PM

Ng is Toast. Read the texts 💀😱😱

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by Anonymousreply 537October 9, 2021 5:26 PM

On Twitter, Celeste seems like one of those people who takes seriously her image as a kind, thoughtful person, nicer than thou. Turns out she’s just like the rest of us. Plus she helped Sonya play that weak race card.

by Anonymousreply 538October 9, 2021 5:37 PM

Isn't this dynamic somewhat similar to that underlying the Salem witch accusations and trials?

The insularity, the performed piety, etc. Lean-in feminism did become a religion of its own during the 2010s but every wave crests sooner or later.

In the end, the accusers became the accused. Seems to be true yet again.

by Anonymousreply 539October 9, 2021 5:42 PM

R539, I seriously doubt that "feminism" had anything to do with this. This is more like the pre-feminist 1950s: "we have nothing to do, we can't attack men, so we'll attack each other."

by Anonymousreply 540October 9, 2021 5:47 PM

It’s becoming increasingly clear Sonya’s friends did her a great disservice by egging her on. She had big shot Celeste screaming at her in texts not to pull the piece. No wonder she felt justified.

by Anonymousreply 541October 9, 2021 5:52 PM

"Watch the NYT writer get this article optioned for a movie starring Constance Wu and Rooney Mara."

Lol. Think of the irony of that - the NYT writer, who's already an established writer, making Hollywood money writing about a situation involving people who desperately want to make a living writing.

by Anonymousreply 542October 9, 2021 5:53 PM

R540, I sincerely apologize and I think you articulated that point much better than I did.

Bad phrasing on my part. My coffee is still kicking in.

by Anonymousreply 543October 9, 2021 5:59 PM

[quote] she’s just like the rest of us

I have friends who would say FUCK SO-AND-SO while drinking but not in writing while plagiarizing them I don't think.

by Anonymousreply 544October 9, 2021 6:04 PM

Strangely enough, the “Dawn” in my social circle popped up yesterday with an over sharing message. I almost felt like I summoned her by participating in this thread.

I spent exactly 1.5 seconds rolling my eyes, then harshly scolded myself for being so ungenerous. Who am I to judge anyone? I’m pretty weird myself.

It would certainly NEVER occur to me to discuss this woman’s quirkiness or her private business with our mutual acquaintances/friends.

That is how an adult reacts to a “Dawn.”

by Anonymousreply 545October 9, 2021 6:17 PM

R544 I honestly think I would have said “fuck Dawn, but pull this piece for your own good.”

by Anonymousreply 546October 9, 2021 6:23 PM

Thanks to R531's link we now can see Alison 'use WOC as a shield and get them to draaaaaaag Dawn' Murphy.

R537 I hope someone posts that screenshot as a reply to every single tweet Ng posts in the future

I wonder if any of this will make Larson take a step back and realise just how badly her friends fucked her. Not that she didn't bring it all on herself, but her friends helped dig that hole so much deeper.

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by Anonymousreply 547October 9, 2021 6:48 PM

[quote]Yes, Larson and co were mean but that was in private conversations between friends and was never meant for public consumption.

The short story was meant for public consumption though.

by Anonymousreply 548October 9, 2021 6:49 PM

R546, same here. Or at least rewrite or remove the letter in the story. This dumbass didn't even have the sense to change the organ donated. I think she was excited at the prospect of Dawn reading it and feeling humiliated.

by Anonymousreply 549October 9, 2021 6:55 PM

R500 Larson and her friends can thank Larson for those private conversations going public via the lawsuit she initiated.

Dawn's private FB messages weren't meant for public consumption, but Sonya wasn't worried about that when she copied her letter.

by Anonymousreply 550October 9, 2021 6:59 PM

R547, it seems like Sonya herself was desperate for the approval of other people, and was attacking Dawn for showing the same trait.

by Anonymousreply 551October 9, 2021 7:02 PM

So Larson's entire defence is essentially "it's not plagiarism if it's copied from Facebook"

by Anonymousreply 552October 9, 2021 7:02 PM

Sounds like Larson got unfortunate legal advice as well.

by Anonymousreply 553October 9, 2021 7:05 PM

I think Sonya expected Dawn to be so cowed with embarrassment if/when she read the story that she wouldn't do much more than cry for sympathy.

When Dawn turned out to be obsessive and have a much bigger backbone, Sonya panicked.

by Anonymousreply 554October 9, 2021 7:05 PM

Actually, Sonya was too fucking stupid to panic, which is indeed what she should have done.

Instead of panicking, the dumb bitch continued to antagonize Dawn BY SUING HER.

Apparently smug, dumb cunt Sonya failed to learn what every middle class and above kid gets drummed into their head from a young age: if you ever sue someone, all of your dirty little secrets will become discoverable.

by Anonymousreply 555October 9, 2021 7:18 PM

I tried to read it in the incognito window but it still says I have no free articles left. How can I read it because I want to see the pictures?

by Anonymousreply 556October 9, 2021 7:19 PM

Obviously, Sonya’s “friends” also hate her.

You have to really care about someone to be willing to tell them hard truths.

No one in that vacuous, cow-eyed crowd cares about her.

by Anonymousreply 557October 9, 2021 7:26 PM

R555 well I'm considering the hiring of a lawyer and a preemptive lawsuit part of the panicking.

It was also a bullying technique, but I do think by that point Sonya was panicking over the harm Dawn was and would continue to cause her.

It reads to me as though Sonya just underestimated Dawn at every turn.

by Anonymousreply 558October 9, 2021 7:31 PM

R534 I took a chance a few years ago and assigned "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" to a 300-level class on immigrant narratives (included Cather, more recent novels and memoirs), and wondered if the students would find it too corny or sentimental. They loved it and none of them had heard of it, though their moms remembered reading it (I am older than their mothers). I also think the 1945 film, while it only covers the first part of the book, is wonderful--James Dunn and Peggy Ann Garner both got Oscars for it (hers the Juvenile Honorary one) and it has some of the best work ever done my Dorothy McGuire and Joan Blondell. Unexpectedly directed by a young ELia Kazan.

by Anonymousreply 559October 9, 2021 7:31 PM

R556 see R67, not sure what pictures you want to see though

by Anonymousreply 560October 9, 2021 7:36 PM

Thank you r67 and r560

by Anonymousreply 561October 9, 2021 7:43 PM

Silence on this comment since Wednesday. What does Jenna have. So Dawn is annoying. I want the gossip.

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by Anonymousreply 562October 9, 2021 9:24 PM

These writers sure spend a lot of time attending workshops and enjoying themselves at rural retreats.

by Anonymousreply 563October 9, 2021 9:39 PM

R562, interesting. I’ll bet what Jenna has is the knowledge of which way the wind is blowing, and so she decided not to say anything else.

by Anonymousreply 564October 9, 2021 9:39 PM

R562 Shitty passive-aggressive hit and run.

by Anonymousreply 565October 9, 2021 9:44 PM

R563, and, hilariously, she was responding to a comment about how “some white women have way too much free time”!

by Anonymousreply 566October 9, 2021 9:44 PM

The twitter wokearazzi are bullies, huh?

by Anonymousreply 567October 9, 2021 9:48 PM


by Anonymousreply 568October 9, 2021 9:49 PM

This is exactly what I think of when I hear about these Author retreats. Ugh.

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by Anonymousreply 569October 9, 2021 10:30 PM

R524, threads on Roxane get many people joining in for a bit of a laugh. I've always viewed her as someone people here find annoying, but humorous at the same time. Definitely not just one poster talks about her.

On the other hand, there does seem to be one particular poster who turns up [italic]every time[/italic] to complain about people talking about Roxane. They never derail the conversation, no one cares, they just keep on laughing. So not sure when this poster will get a clue and just leave people to it.

In this case, Roxane inserted herself into the mess with her "white women" rubbish. So I'd say she's fair game here.

The real insanity though is with her friend Tressie, who claims this kidney story as proof that white women want to kill non white women. Yes, she actually said that.

by Anonymousreply 570October 9, 2021 10:40 PM

R566 And states in her Twitter bio that she's "officially on sabbatical."

Sabbaticals must be nice.

by Anonymousreply 571October 9, 2021 10:41 PM

God those texts between Ng and Larson... they really make it sound like Ng is the biggest monster of them all. Larson at least seems to feel nervous about it, Ng is completely egging her on, and her texts, basically all caps "FUCK DAWN I HOPE SHE SUFFERS" type stuff make Ng sound unhinged!

by Anonymousreply 572October 9, 2021 10:54 PM

One of the funniest parts too, is for all her complaining about Dawn donating a kidney for clout, Celeste, as soon as those texts are exposed, goes online to promote a charity for Afghani children.

These women have no self-awareness.

by Anonymousreply 573October 9, 2021 10:57 PM

R562 So she's just doing the same thing Ng is doing and hinting at worse from Dawn - but the problem for them is that everyone knows if there was worse, they wouldn't be able to stop themselves from talking about it. Plus, we'd very likely have seen it talked about in those bitchy DMs.

I now desperately want to see an Armando Iannucci series about the literary community, writer's retreats, etc.

by Anonymousreply 574October 9, 2021 11:12 PM

Celeste, you in trouble grrl.

I hadn't read her texts until l now. Damning for sure. Never, when I first read the NYT story last week, did I think Dawn would come out the victor in this sordid little affair.

But damn it. She has.

by Anonymousreply 575October 9, 2021 11:19 PM

I repeat, what does Sonya actually do for a living?

You just know her Chinese mother considers her a failure.

by Anonymousreply 576October 9, 2021 11:25 PM

So, when are Gawker, Jezebel etc. going to do follow ups about how nasty Celeste Ng is? I won't hold my breath.

I found that Gawker article where Dawn wrote in to correct a few things really off putting. Dawn, for all of her faults, wrote a perfectly nice, pleasant letter there. Gawker acted like the typical bullies themselves when, faced with reason, just rolled their eyes and went "ok, then".

by Anonymousreply 577October 9, 2021 11:29 PM

OMG, you have Celeste Ng saying on Twitter there's more to the story and then people start digging through the texts and it turns out Ng is a total bitch and egged Larson on to the point of giving very bad advice on what constitutes plagiarism. Yeah, there was more to the story--Ng isn't a loyal friend, defending her buddy on Twitter, she's a mean girl who encouraged Larson to not make any changes--you know, the sort that would have kept Larson out of trouble.

And those Chunky Monkey buds include some of the whitest of white--I mean, they look like they're from central casting. Gawd, I love the Chunky Monkeys, they really are the Benneton crew of mean girls (hat tip to the earliest poster who came up with that.)

Who can play Alison Murphy? (I like Radka whoever-that-is for Roxanne Gay or M'onique. Danielle Brooks comes off as too fundamentally decent.) Rachel McAdams, the orginal mean girl herself, but with a better wig?

by Anonymousreply 578October 9, 2021 11:32 PM

Ooh Armando Iannucci would be perfect to helm this.

[quote]Gawd, I love the Chunky Monkeys, they really are the Benneton crew of mean girls (hat tip to the earliest poster who came up with that.)

This makes me laugh so much. "Chunky Monkeys" is the most ridiculous thing and I can't stop laughing.

by Anonymousreply 579October 9, 2021 11:36 PM

"It reads to me as though Sonya just underestimated Dawn at every turn."

I might have made the same mistake, I assume people who have a strong desire to be liked are conflict-averse to the point of being pushovers.

But the fact is that Dorland is someone who'd grown up borderline homeless and got herself educated and living the middle-class life of the wannabe writer, and rising above one's background takes guts, determination, and the ability to push back against anyone who wants to pull you back into the crab pot. Seriously, everything about this story gives me the feeling that Lawson has been weaponizing her class privelege against Dorland.

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by Anonymousreply 580October 9, 2021 11:38 PM

Interesting that Celeste Ng is on Twitter trying to put out little fires everywhere currently.

(She doesn't seem to realise she is handling a can of gasoline however).

by Anonymousreply 581October 9, 2021 11:44 PM

[quote] These women have no self-awareness.

Differently aware. Her response to spin and counter program. To make herself look benevolent. To assert she's a good person.

by Anonymousreply 582October 9, 2021 11:51 PM

Just to let everyone know, there is a part 2 thread ready to go once this one is full. I figured there might be need for one with the revelations continuing.

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by Anonymousreply 583October 9, 2021 11:51 PM

[quote] I spent exactly 1.5 seconds rolling my eyes, then harshly scolded myself for being so ungenerous. Who am I to judge anyone? I’m pretty weird myself.

Millennials are completely unable to have such conversations with themselves. The extent of their analysis of anything is usually “EEEEEEWWWWWW!”

by Anonymousreply 584October 10, 2021 12:08 AM

[quote] I found that Gawker article where Dawn wrote in to correct a few things really off putting.

I could not agree more. The old Gawker would have found a better way to comment on the brouhaha. I poked around the new Gawker and it's just not good.

by Anonymousreply 585October 10, 2021 12:15 AM

[quote] Millennials are completely unable to have such conversations with themselves. The extent of their analysis of anything is usually “EEEEEEWWWWWW!”

I am Gen X, but this comment is beyond pathetic. You're generalizing about an entire age group based on-- Twitter? A few work acquaintances?

by Anonymousreply 586October 10, 2021 12:18 AM

R580, I think that's a critical element to this dynamic. Dawn has a LOT of issues, but at the end of the day she is a survivor by necessity. Has been one her whole life. Will defend herself emotionally to the teeth because she can never fully rely on anyone else to.

Sadly if Sonya were not such an arrogant mean girl, she might have recognized having some of that in common with Dawn. Sonya grew up half-Asian in a white enclave in the 70s/80s (I'm not sure of her age) and no doubt survived some awful racism despite her relative affluence. She's very astute at picking up on racial fault lines, but not so much with any other kind of privilege.

by Anonymousreply 587October 10, 2021 12:24 AM

Minnesota always struck me as a pretty egalitarian place – no?

by Anonymousreply 588October 10, 2021 12:31 AM

Where does Minnesota come into it?

Yes, by al accounts Minnesota is one of the most liberal and tolerant states in the Midwest, but that doesn't mean it's free of racial, ethnic, or religious tensions. Hell, I met a guy who swore that he suffered abuse and discrimination as a kid there, because he grew up "Swedish in a Norwegian town".

by Anonymousreply 589October 10, 2021 12:36 AM

I hope this doesn't sound racist.

Both Celeste Ng and Sonya Larson seem utterly driven, and repulsed by weakness, emotionality, and incompetence in others.

Could that be the result of Chinese "tiger mothers"? Aren't Asians often oppressed not by white people, but by their culture's expectations?

by Anonymousreply 590October 10, 2021 12:46 AM

Lawson does seem to typify a certain kind of well-educated, bubble-dwelling, middle-class POC, who believes that racism is the only kind of discrimination that matters... because it's the only form of discrimination that they've ever experienced, or feared.

Most of us are blind to privileges we possess, so people who won the social class and economic lottery have no idea how much effect class prejudice or economic struggles can have on a person's prospects or personal happiness. And if they're true-blue Mean Girls they'll have so little regard for other women that they'll dismiss sexism and "white women's tears" as well.

by Anonymousreply 591October 10, 2021 12:47 AM

Is Larson an only child?

I bet she’s an only child.

by Anonymousreply 592October 10, 2021 12:51 AM

So many terms now, like "white privilege", "white women's tears", "systemic racism", "mansplaining" etc get misused. There is value in these terms as describing particular things, like they are real concepts, but not for [italic]every[/italic] thing, and it devalues the terms when people throw them around willy-nilly. A woman at work was telling me recently how she was too scared to stand up for herself in serious situations because she knew she would just get dismissed as a "Karen". So I feel there's this lazy use of language, and no one is really looking at context and nuance that much.

For these women, it's so easy for them to dismiss everything they don't like about Dawn as being "well, she's a white woman", and they can feel morally superior, because no one likes racism. Dawn's coming from a completely different angle though.

by Anonymousreply 593October 10, 2021 1:01 AM

There is a good novel by Claire Messud, "The Woman Upstairs" about a horrible betrayal by a "Bad Art Friend"

by Anonymousreply 594October 10, 2021 1:22 AM

I've always wanted to write, but I have to say, I don't really understand the desire to be part of these writer's groups. My first thought wasn't even "someone might steal my ideas", but more "never share until you are finished or you'll lose to desire to continue" which is something I find happens with me a lot. You're putting too much on other people's reactions to what you're doing.

But the more I hear about these kinds of writers, the more insufferable they all seem, and I REALLY wouldn't want to be anywhere near them.

by Anonymousreply 595October 10, 2021 1:38 AM

They aren’t real writers.

by Anonymousreply 596October 10, 2021 1:49 AM

This debacle makes me hate art, people and the world.

Still love my cats and Datalounge. 💋

by Anonymousreply 597October 10, 2021 1:50 AM

That's probably the crux of the matter for sure, R596. Celeste Ng probably thinks she's hot shit because of Little Candles Burning Down the Prairie House, but she's not really all that.

Agreed, R597. The more you hear about people in these areas, the less you want to consume whatever they put out into the world.

by Anonymousreply 598October 10, 2021 1:53 AM

Where are you reading all the texts?

by Anonymousreply 599October 10, 2021 2:05 AM

They're being posted to Twitter, R599, and there are some links above on this thread too.

Post 600. Well, here's a link again to part 2!

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by Anonymousreply 600October 10, 2021 2:08 AM
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