Saraciea J. Fennell sits on the board of Latinx in Publishing and on the advisory board of People of Color in Publishing. She is currently the publicity manager at Tor Books. The new essay anthology that she edited, Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed (Flatiron, Nov. 2), compiles the perspectives of 15 authors from the Latinx diaspora to create a much-needed depiction of a diverse community that addresses family myths, mental health, the critical importance of self-identification, and much more.
In this interview, Fennell discusses the Latinx stereotypes she saw in the media preceding the Trump election and in its aftermath and how portrayals of the Latinx community so often leave little room for diverse expressions of identity. She mentions the authors she has assembled—from well-known voices to those just beginning their writing careers—and touches on the pleasure of writing her own piece for the anthology. Finally, she addresses the need she has seen for more tools of engagement with authors and books in the public school system, a need that sparked her idea for The Bronx Is Reading.
From the Kirkus review of Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed: “The truth, it seems, is undefinable and utterly human, with recurring themes cropping up throughout the collection: questions around mental health in Latinx communities, colorism and racism, the boundaries of language (known and unknown), and finding comfort and familiarity in food.…A tremendously thought-provoking (re)construction of Latinx experiences.”