Just got my first slam by a reader blasting me about a piece from my China dispatches published in Travelers' Tales: China about my very mixed feelings about the people and culture during my ride there.
"I am very much offended by your overall tone. You have little positive to say about the country and its people, and rattle off one sarcastic remark or insult after another. It is seldom that I will see the word "retarded" in a published work, for example. [Re: Motorcycling in China by Carla King]
Should I (or writers in general) censor a memoir in the traverse experience and realization growing in the narrative arc of a story? I decided that I wanted the reader to experience that with me, and took the risk.
Your thoughts about relating negative experiences/thoughts in a non-fiction narrative, or the use of the word "retarded" or other possibly "offensive" words. (And were you as horrified as I was that NewSouth Books removed the word nigger from Huckleberry Finn?)
Below is a link to the piece. By the way, Travelers' Tales: China is a wonderful resource for anyone planning to go there, or curious about the country, as are all of their collections:
Motorcycling in China by Carla King, from Travelers Tales: China