This week it’s about controversial authors and their books.
This week's theme came to me after I read the book, Gone to Texas by Forrest Carter. For those who don't know the book, the film adaptation might be more familiar—The Outlaw Josey Wales starring Clint Eastwood.
Intrigued by the movie I bought the eBook and was enthralled by the writing...and surprised when I learned that Carter also wrote The Education of Little Tree, a wonderful book that I read first as the condensed version in Readers Digest.
Again, fantastic writing kept me in the scene and loving it.
But...I was confused. Some of the reviews of the books mentioned the author’s past, a despicable character. It seems—according to news accounts and magazine articles—Mr. Carter lived a double life as a member of the KKK and a speechwriter for Democratic Governor George Wallace.
The fact checkers say his real name was Asa Carter and advocated racial separation. According to them, he was an anti-Semite.
I’m not sure what the truth is about the author. All I know is what I read in his books. Example:
- Carter portrayed one of his characters, a Jewish man, as wronged by the town folk. But loved and enjoyed by the protagonist and his family.
- He gave a black character very sympathetic treatment as well without a hint of racism.
- There wasn’t a bit of antisemitism, racism, or Ku Klux Klan ideals in his books.
Summary: Should I believe the news articles detailing his past sins? Or judge him by his books and characters?