{diversity in lit} friday #15

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by Fongwei Liu
by Fongwei Liu

A few links to reviews, articles, sites, etc. of the Diversity in Literature concern from around a small portion the blook blogosphere, accumulated over the past week or so.

——-Reviews——–

–Elyse Dinh-McGillis reviews a mystery/thriller for Shelf Awareness: Dana Haynes’s Gun Metal Heart (Minotaur 2014). “Daria Gibron–former agent for Israel’s Shin Bet (secret service) and now freelance operative–is recovering from injuries incurred during her previous escapade, Ice Cold Kill. […] the cinematic action is fun, and a crash course in the history of the former Yugoslavia helps make this a smart summer thriller.”

beneath–Kerry McHugh reviews Beneath the Darkening Sky by Majolk Tulba (One World 2013, orig. 2012) for Shelf Awareness. “is as heartbreaking as it is beautiful, giving us the story of a young boy who must fight to defend himself against conditions worse than any human–let alone a child–should ever be forced to endure. As a novel of resilience and identity, and of what lengths we are willing to go to survive, it is at once harrowing and haunting, shedding light on the continuing horrors of child soldiers.”

–Edi at Crazy QuiltEdi reviews Jacqueline Woodson’s brown girl dreaming (Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin 2014) a Middle-Grade fiction, arguably for anyone. “For me, a Black woman of the same generation who grew up in Ohio with a mother from Mississippi, I quite often found myself pausing and connecting to the story while I daydreamed about my own life. But, this book wasn’t written for me. Will teens relate? Will they find themselves in the spaces Woodson creates when she talks about teeth, not being as smart as, about grandpa’s love and forever friends? I think that they will not only find themselves in these nuances, but they’ll also see how they fit into the larger stories of their family, community and history itself.”

Publisher’s Weekly looks at Scott Westerfield’s latest Afterworlds (SimonPulse 2014). “During National Novel Writing Month, Darcy Patel, 18, pounds out a “Hindu paranormal romance” that earns her an advance hefty enough to fund a college education. Alas, Darcy has other ideas, moving to Manhattan to do rewrites and deferring admission to Oberlin. What follows are two stories, told in alternating chapters: Darcy’s path to publication, and the final draft of the book she wrote, also titled Afterworlds. […] An ambitious concept, well executed. Ages 14–up.”

–Grace at Books Without Any Pictures reviews How to Be Black by Baraturnde Thurston (HarperCollins 2012). “Race is one of those taboo topics that people (myself included) aren’t comfortable talking about.  Since Baratunde Thurston writes for The Onion, I hoped he’d be able to talk about racial issues with humor and levity.  I’d consider it a success.”

a ghost–Grace also reviews The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo (William Morrow 2013). “So, The Ghost Bride was a really weird book.  I can’t say that I loved it, but I will say that it was rather unusual and stands out from many of the other books I’ve been reading recently.  The whole book is rather surreal, and reminds me rather strongly of the Hayao Miyazaki film Spirited Away (which I loved, don’t get me wrong). […] I’d recommend The Ghost Bride if you’re in the mood for something out-of-the-ordinary.  Yangsze Choo sculpts a Chinese afterlife that as fascinating as it is macabre.”

Books Speak Volumes reviews Virgins by Radhika Sanghani (Berkley 2014).”Virgin is a fun read, for what it is. It’s not the most literary thing I’ve ever read, but it was light and funny and relatable. Ellie’s obsession with losing her virginity is a bit annoying at times, but by the end of the novel, she comes around to a healthier attitude toward sex, realizing that it’s okay to be a virgin, and it’s okay to be a slut (not my choice of word) — that women should do as they please and not be ashamed about it — whatever it is.”

——-Articles———

–Lee & Low features an article on “Thoughts on Ferguson and Recommended Resources.” “There are no easy ways to teach children about what’s happening in Ferguson, but here are couple links we’ve come across that help illuminate the issues and, perhaps, let us find teachable moments.”

a a Winter-in-the-blood-posterPoets & Writers shared a film/trailer-Winter in the Blood–Sherman Alexie has invested in. Looks excellent! “This forthcoming film by Alex and Andrew Smith is based on the James Welch novel of the same title, published by Harper & Row in 1974.”

–YAY!! “Louise Erdrich wins Dayton Literary Peace Prize’s Distinguished Achievement Award“!! “The Dayton prizes are meant to recognize literature’s power to foster peace, social justice and global understanding, and the distinguished achievement award is given for body of work.”

As[I]Am! presents “Deaf Brown Gurl:” An Interview with Sabina England. “In this interview, we sat down with deaf South Asian writer and performance artist Sabina England and discussed working in different languages and media, navigating multiple marginalized identities, and Sabina’s latest film called Deaf Brown Gurl.”

Harriet shares how “Archipelago Books will honor Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o at its upcoming ten-year anniversary. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is a writer of novels, plays, journalism, essays: his contributions to African literature are far-reaching into the realms of many genres of African literature, including poetry.”

——Booklists, sites, etc.——-

a a amdubanner-col2—“It’s time to sign up to participate in A More Diverse Universe!” BookLust is hosting an important and easily doable challenge. go here to sign-up. “For those who have not heard about #Diversiverse before, it’s a very simple challenge.  For those of you who have participated in the past, it’s even easier this year.  The criteria are as follows: Read and review one book; Written by a person of color; During the last two weeks of September (September 14th – 27th).

–Have you heard about Willow Books (the literary imprint of Aquarius Press)? “The mission of Willow Books is to develop, publish and promote writers typically underrepresented in the literary field. An independent press with a woman of color at its helm, Aquarius Press/Willow Books is recognized as an industry leader for its commitment to artistic development.”

I shared the other Behind the Book lists last week, here is the High School (NY-centric) recommended reads.

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