{diversity in lit} friday #09: (re)sources



{image by Alessandra Vitalli}

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.


–Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness pairs Postcards from Cookie by Caroline Clarke and Boy, Snow Bird by Helen Oyeyemi. “One thing I love about being a reader is when two books connect unexpectedly. Last month I had one of those moments of book serendipity with two seemingly unrelated reads […] Both books, written by women of color, explore race, adoption and identity in some ways that I wasn’t expecting.” 

3 partsThe Little Red Reviewer reads Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone (Tor 2012). “A mash up of Law and Order (or maybe Castle?) and Neil Gaiman’s American Gods […] Gladstone gets about a billion points for uniqueness of world. He gets twice that many for story development, and three times that many many points for characterization. in fact, forget the world, or the characters, forget all the details,  because that’s not what’s important.  This is what’s important: Three Parts Dead is everything that’s right about how to make a fantasy world work and feel completely real.”

Crystal of Reading Through Life shares Bamboo Among the Oaks: Contemporary Writing by Hmong Americans edited by Mai Neng Moua (Minnesota Historical Society Press 2002). “In this groundbreaking anthology, first- and second-generation Hmong Americans — the first to write creatively in English — share their perspectives on being Hmong in America. In stories, poetry, essays, and drama, these writers address the common challenges of immigrants adapting to a new homeland: preserving ethnic identity and traditions, assimilating to and battling with the dominant culture, negotiating generational conflicts exacerbated by the clash of cultures, and developing new identities in multiracial America.”

The many voices and variety of formats in the book combine to make a spectacular collage of Hmong experiences. As readers we are fortunate to have this text available to us. There are so many ways of life in America. Sometimes we don’t see the diversity within a cultural group. This book provides us that opportunity. It also lets us know that there are uncountable ways to be Hmong American beyond these examples and that over time there are still changes.”–Crystal

ever after–Shan at Curled Up w/ a Good Book and a Cup of Tea reviews The Ever After of Ashwin Rao by Padma Viswanathan (Random House 2014). “  In 2004, almost 20 years after the fatal bombing of an Air India flight from Vancouver, 2 suspects–finally–are on trial for the crime. Ashwin Rao, an Indian psychologist trained in Canada, comes back to do a “study of comparative grief,” interviewing people who lost loved one in the attack.”–publisher’s comments

“The book travels through the decades and through the world to give a complete picture of the events that led up to the incident.  I was surprised to find that Venkat and the Sethuratnams are given so much space in the book, however, their stories set against Ashwin’s show that grief and terror affect everyone differently.  This is a sweeping novel that covers so much culture and history and that is one of the strengths of the novel to me.”–Shan

Reading Has Purpose shares Teju Coles’ Every Day is for the Thief (Random House 2014 | orig. 2007) and her experience at an author reading. “The main character travels from New York to Lagos, his home, after having been away for over 10 years. I felt like I was there. It was as if the narrator was carrying a video camera. I had to remind myself that I was reading fiction. […] This was an engaging read. There were places I laughed, places I shook my head with disapproval, and places I paused in shocked.”

————Book Lists/Sites———–

April 2014’s New YA Releases via Diversity in YA.

Américas Award for Children’s & Young Adult Literature announces its 2014 Winners, and commendations. Also a good resource site. Consortium of Latin American Studies Program (CLASP) “founded the Américas Award in 1993 to encourage and commend authors, illustrators and publishers who produce quality children’s and young adult books that portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States, and to provide teachers with recommendations for classroom use.CLASP offers up to two annual book awards, together with a commended list of titles.”

A tumblr of interest? POC-Creators POC Creators is a creative collective based upon uniting POC and giving us a safe space to discuss,cultivate our ideas and network.”


The first two links pair really well.

“Should White People Write about Color?” by Malinda Lo “Lately I’ve been getting a lot of questions in email, twitter, and tumblr like this one: […] Probably because I’m co-founder of Diversity in YA and I’m not white, I seem to be some sort of authority on this, but the truth is: There is no one right answer to this question. Everyone has a personal stake in this issue, whether they realize it or not.”

at Uncalibrated Centrifuge: Alison’s experience reading Orchards by Holly Thompson (this is not a review!) “Yes, we need more diversity when it comes to the people writing the books, but we also need diversity among the people editing, publishing, designing and selling books.”

The Wall Street Journal publishes an article in the wake of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s death, “In Search of the Next Gabriel Garcia Marquez” by Reed Johnson, Juan Forero and Sara Munoz. while the title comes across as a bit distasteful, pretty much screaming “commodification,” it does list fantastic authors to be looking out for.

Sayantani at From the Mixed-Up Files… shares a post titled: “Diversity in Children’s Literature: The Search for the Missing Characters (and Authors!) of Color” : “The issue is one that is as central to Middle Grade novels and Middle Grade authors as YA novels and authors. Is there an apartheid in MG literature? The numbers surely suggest yes. Rather than blaming The Market or, worse still, middle grade authors of color, perhaps we as a community need to come up with some solutions.” A list of possible solutions follow.
In ” Diversity in 2013 New York Times YA Bestsellers,” Malindo Lo takes “a look at the New York Times Young Adult and Children’s Best Sellers lists for 2013,” providing pie charts. “I don’t think I’m going to be doing much of this counting anymore. It doesn’t show much beyond the fact that bestsellers are predominantly white and straight, which we all knew. I’m trying to see it as motivation to keep writing, as opposed to depressing statistics about how what I’m writing is hard to sell to the masses.”–Lo
Crystal at Reading Through Life shared this slam poem in celebration of Poetry and Poetry Month, and I would like to as well: It is from Brave New Voices (Chicago 2013)

thoughts? would love to hear them...

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