Morality & Well-Meaning - #BelievingWomen in Erum Shazia Hasan's We Meant Well

Erum Shazia Hasan’s We Meant Well  (ECW Press) – Linda raves about this debut novel by Erum Shazia Hasan. In this novel, Maya’s colleague, Marc, has been accused of assaulting a local girl in Likanni, and so Maya is called from Los Angeles to deal with the crisis. The pressures are mounting for Maya as she tries to contend with this situation, grapple with her complex past, and grapple with her present personal life, which threatens to collapse.

In this interview, Hasan talks about how difficult it is to doubt colleagues or people we like or trust, and who have done noble things – things which stand in contrast to the accusations that have been levelled at them. Linda then probes Hasan’s aesthetic choices about this narrative and discusses the following with her:

  • Origins of the novel in Haiti (2.36)
  • #MeToo and #Believe Women movements (20.45; 22.23)
  • Experience and process of writing this novel (5.32)
  • C. S. Richardson (4.28)
  • Characterization of protagonist, Maya (7.11; 15.27)
  • Home country vs. Home culture (8.20, 17.25)
  • Third-wave feminism and Western feminism (8:59)
  • Role of trauma in decision-making (11.14)
  • Moral question related to boundaries (11.50)
  • Intersectionality (13.43)
  • Personal vs political violences (18.03)
  • Love and desire (19.20)
  • Intentions and “we meant well” (24.03)

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