Alice Wong on Activism, Community, and Writing
“I feel such rage—and it clarified what is important to me and what I want to write about.”
Mallory Soto: It has been an incredibly busy year for you. Let's start off the same way I'm tempted to start conversations with friends over Zoom. How are you? How has it been, existing and writing in 2020 and beyond?
MS: Throughout your writing, the Disability Visibility Project, and so much in your work as an activist, your voice takes its own space—but it is never alone. What's been challenging about creating community in all of these ways? What are some delights that have come of it?
MS: I know this election isn't nearly the end of the work for disability right activists. What’s next for you?
MS: Tell me all about rest. How do you find and prioritize rest from all of the work you've been doing?
MS: What do you see as the future for oral histories? Do you see technology bringing oral histories back into the collective imagination, or do you think we are still giving other stories and histories more gravity? (Ed. note: This question is brought to us by the inimitable Stella Cabot-Wilson!)
MS: You mention in this essay some of the things that keep you going—How do you take your coffee? What is your pastry of choice?
Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century,
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“I was grateful for the beauty and for the reminders that there are seasons; that things change gradually and also suddenly.”
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I thought I was the exception to every rule about writing being a hard living. I got exactly what I deserved.
“There were awkward motel and Airbnb moments involving my dog and other people’s pets. But I’m glad I have a record of those, even if I wasn't able to elevate them into art.”
“The book is not straightforward, but it is expansive, and I don’t think the only way to make a story cohere is chronology.”