James, I agree – I think in writing stirring up the dust makes for some of the best literature.
“These people” can choose to read it or not – I was just wondering how the idea of the novel was presented to ‘them’. And again I agree that telling your intentions to anyone other than your editor is not the best idea.
Everyone will have an opinion of what is right or wrong, what offends or not. As James said, tell it only in the truth (which too, I guess ‘these others’ will have their opinions on).
Who knows you may just surprise ‘them’, enlighten them or not at all if they are so set in their thoughts already.
Do it how you want to do it – not how they want it done (unless your editor intends to pay you heavily – but don’t accept it as ‘hush money’).