Craft and Conscience
How to Write About Social Issues
The first major book for writers to more effectively engage with complex socio-political issues--a critical first step in creating social change
Writers are witnesses and scribes to society's conscience but writing about social issues in the twenty-first century requires a new, sharper toolkit. Craft and Conscience helps writers weave together their narrative craft, analytical and research skills, and their conscience to create prose which makes us feel the individual and collective impact of crucial issues of our time. Kavita Das guides writers to take on nuanced perspectives and embrace intentionality through a social justice lens. She challenges writers to unpack their motivations for writing about an issue and to understand that "writing, irrespective of genre or outlet, is an act of political writing," regardless of intention.
The book includes essays from a fascinating mix of authors, including James Baldwin, Alexander Chee, Kaitlyn Greenidge, George Orwell, Roxane Dunbar-Ortiz, Gaiutra Bahadur, Jaquira Díaz, and Imani Perry. By including Das's own perspective and those of the featured writers about motivations and approaches to writing about fraught social issues, this book both demystifies the process of engaging social issues on the page, and underscores the intentionality and sensitivity that must go into the work.
About this Author
Kavita Das has taught nonfiction writing at the New School and Catapult and has written about social issues for ten years. Previously, she worked in the social change sector for fifteen years, addressing issues ranging from community and housing inequities to public health disparities and racial injustice. Das is also the author of the biography Poignant Song: The Life and Music of Lakshmi Shankar. Find her online at kavitadas.com and on Twitter (@kavitamix).
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