{diversity in lit} friday #08: (re)sources

story time pelick

{Story Time by Laura Pelick}

There are some brilliant blogs and challenges out there that provide lists, reviews, or linking hubs for reviews regarding Diversity in Literature. I am going to list & link a few resources every Friday, as well as ome reviews of div/lit fiction for the grown-up shelf as I encounter them through the week. If you posted a review or interview that should interest adult readers featuring an author or protagonist of the oft marginalized due to color, sexual orientation, sex/gender, ability, etc. since last Friday, please share in comments. Do feel free to share your favorite resources in comments, I will share them in future Friday posts.


17707648—Elaine Cha for KoreAm reviews The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-Mi Hwang (Penguin 2013; orig. 2000) in which she addresses the difficulties w/ translations. “is a novella I wanted to love. Since my time in Seoul from 2000 to 2002, I’ve longed for more English-language translations of contemporary Korean fiction. The discovery, therefore, of Hen—the Korean-to-English translation of Hwang Sun-Mi’s wildly popular Madang Eul Na-un Amtak—excited me as 1) a children’s lit lover, and 2) a heritage Korean speaker with very uneven reading and comprehension skills. Hen being hailed “a Korean Charlotte’s Web” stoked expectation.”

“This is the story of a hen named Sprout. No longer content to lay eggs on command, only to have them carted off to the market, she glimpses her future every morning through the barn doors, where the other animals roam free, and comes up with a plan to escape into the wild—and to hatch an egg of her own.”–publisher’s comments

–In the lates Shelf Awareness newsletter (scroll down the link) Dave Wheeler writes about Every Day is for the Thief by Teju Cole (Random House 2014). “Writing in his deeply meditative and personal voice, Teju Cole suspends Every Day Is for the Thief, his second novel, between infatuation and contempt. Many years after his emigration to the United States, the narrator returns to Lagos, Nigeria. What he discovers there shatters any remaining nostalgic ache he has held for that place, transforming his relationship to the notion of home.”

7507944–Crystal at Reading Through Life reviews Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (Viking 2011). “Okorafor created a vivid world that pulsed with life. I felt like I was transported every time I opened the pages of the book. The story takes place in Nigeria, but there are times when the characters cross over to a place beyond what we see and I loved experiencing the wonders there. […] I am excited for the series to continue. The next book doesn’t come out until Spring of 2015 so it will be hard to wait. If you haven’t read it yet, get it soon. This is a fun and exciting fantasy that you won’t want to miss.”

–Marie (Boston Bibliophile) reviews The Palestinian Lover by Selim Nassib (Europa 2007). “The book covers time from the early 1930s through 1948 and ranges from a kibbutz to the city but rests largely in the minds of its characters. Certainly identity and it malleability, the way we put it on like clothes and wear it into the world, is a central theme of the book. Other themes include individual versus group identity, adherence to convention and the power of passion to challenge our ideas about ourselves. The Palestinian Lover also figures as an example of Europa Editions’ mission to bring important Arabic literature to Europe and America. Unfortunately it’s out of print now but I hope that readers interested in the Middle East and Israel will keep an eye out for this fascinating and important novel.”

————Book/& Lists———–

–Lee & Low: “Diverse Dystopias: A Booklist

–Dangerous Jam (blog) “YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels w/ Protagonists who are Non-White/People of Color”  “This is a list of all novels which fit the criteria listed below. It does not express opinions on the quality, authenticity, or positivity of the portrayals of the characters in the books. Please use your own judgment in deciding which books you wish to read or buy.  I have not read all these books! These were the criteria used to compile the list: 1) The book must be science fiction or fantasy or otherwise not realism, and must have been published, either originally or in reprint, as YA in the USA, 2) The character of color/non-white character must either be the protagonist, if it’s a book with a solo protagonist, or one of an ensemble, if it’s a book with multiple protagonists.”

–via YA Interrobang: “10 Native American Protagonists


Writing Opportunity: “For Harriet takes pride in amplifying the voices of Black women across the web and beyond. We celebrate your creative spirit and welcome your intuition on today’s issues, matters of the heart and cultural perspectives of life.

–Kiese Laymon, “a black Southern writer […and] author of the novel Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America,” writes “Hey Mama for Guernica. “A black mother and her son talk about language and love in the South.”

“Janine Nabers wins Yale Playwriting Prize”

–Become acquainted with writer and CNN Visionary Woman: Meg Medina: “Medina wants to help bicultural Hispanic teens keep and grow their identity by reflecting their lives in literature. She hopes to expose non-Latinos to her books as well, using universal themes to show that our life experiences aren’t so different, no matter our culture.”

NPR’s KQED Radio host Mina Kim speaks w/ Christopher Myers, Kathleen Horning, LeUyen Pham, Mitali Perkins, and Nina Lindsay on People of Color Underrepresented in Children’s Books “Ethnic diversity is on the rise in the U.S. So why are children’s books still so white? Only about 6 percent of kids’ books published in 2013 feature characters that are African-American, Latino, Asian or Native American. We take up the discussion with authors, illustrators and librarians. Does the ethnicity of characters in children’s books matter to you?”


Writing Like an Asian “The purpose of “Writing Like an Asian” is to share some of my ideas with teachers, students, and others interested in Asian American issues.” Has a great feature called “Five Qs with…”

Book Dragon “is a book review blog produced by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center (APAC). […] features literary works which predominantly highlight the contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans to the American experience and world cultures [… and] is inhabited by Terry Hong.”



Published by L

I read, and I write. and until recently, I sold books.

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