{diversity in lit} Friday #20

The Year of the Book by Andrea Cheng

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



–Lisa (TBR 313) reviews Short Girls, Bich Minh Nguyen (Viking 2009). “In chapters that alternate between Van and Linny, the sisters reluctantly face returning home.  The story moves between the past and present, as they look back on their childhood, growing up with first-generation immigrant parents, trying to find a balance between Vietnam and America.”

Me, You and Books reads I’ll Be Right There by Kung-Sook Shin (Other Press 2014). “The prose in this book has a crisp, bell-like clarity, and yet we are often left unsure of what is happening or why. A sense of urgency drives the novel as we only slowly discover the stories behind character’s actions. Death and loss are present, but joy is also present sustaining the characters as they embrace it and later in their memories.”

Wandering in the Stacks shares Y.S. Lee’s Book 1 of The Agency series: A Spy in the House (Candlewick 2010). “I *love* that this book is concerned with social justice issues (and in a non-preachy way!) The main investigation centers around artifacts stolen from a Hindu temple in India, possibly brought to London from traders and installed in private collections. Stealing another culture’s treasures is something that pops up in the news now and again, bringing with it questions about where these items belong, and who should have the rights to them.”

–Sarah (What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate) reads Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis (Knopf 2009). “It’s an excellent book overall, but I am more than usually grateful that the author sat down and wrote it. The story of the 6888th battalion has been lost and buried. The unit wasn’t even recognized for it’s services until 2009, and by then only 3 women could be located.”

–Sarah (What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate) also reviews Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (Viking 2011). “This book was interesting and imaginative…but also a little bit dull, which seems like a direct contradiction! Something about the writing style, and specifically the voices of the characters seemed…flat. I felt like the spark was missing from the narrative, and this puzzled me immensely because the story was at the same time richly detailed and full of surprising quirks. Nigerian culture, and the magical world of the Leopard people poured from the pages. The hidden spaces of Leopard Knocks with it’s market streets and massive library, the way charms and acts of juju worked, the spirit faces that each person wore beneath their real one – all these details were colorful and somewhat familiar, but full of the zest of a different setting. Being transported to West Africa was, to me, just as exciting as exploring the landscapes and rules of a new fantasy world.”

–Little Red Reviewer writes about Karen Lord’s The Best of All Possible Worlds (Del Rey 2013). “is a novel of language, of growing up, of saying goodbye, of saying hello, and realizing that language is far more than just words. I highly recommend it.”

–Sam J. Miller (for Guys Lit Wire) reviews  Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories edited by Alisa Krasnostein & Julia Rios.”This anthology highlights twenty stories that are creepy, funny, edgy, entertaining, and thought-provoking. There’s all kinds of dazzling diversity on display here: the authors are diverse, the speculative concepts are diverse (stories about drugs that let you see the future, and ancient deities giving life lessons, and superpowers, and urban legends gone wrong) and the settings for the stories are diverse (Palestine, China, New Jersey).”


–Publisher’s Weekly talks with award-winning illustrator Yuyi Morales. “I am an immigrant, a member of two worlds, a speaker of two languages, a mother of a niño born in Mexico [who is] now a man who has embarked on his own journey in this place that he calls home: America,” Morales said in her speech. “Please, continue to make this land the welcoming, diverse place of opportunities for niños and niñas to grow—and please let me be part of it.”

–“The Mazur/Kaplan Company and Olympus Pictures have optionedHolly Goldberg Sloan’s bestselling novel Counting By 7s. They’ve attached Oscar-nominated Beasts Of The Southern Wild star Quvenzhané Wallis and will build the movie around her.” says Deadline Hollywood.

–Julie Danielson writes about “Capturing a Ballerina’s Beauty,” “In the Author’s Note of her new picture book, Firebird, ballet dancer Misty Copeland notes that when she read ballet books as a child, she didn’t see herself. “I saw an image of what a ballerina should be, and she wasn’t me, brown faced.” Firebird is her attempt to change that, to give children one more ballet book featuring people of color. There simply aren’t many of these books on shelves.”

–Colin Dwyer (for NPR) posts news about Roxane Gay’s new gig at The Butter, “Roxane Gay has said that she’ll be making a “concerted effort” to publish people of color and queer writers.”

—–book lists, sites, etc.—–

–The #Diversiverse wrapped up and here is the Review Link-up Page. Do peruse.

–Edi (Crazy QuiltEdi) posts “Authors Extending their Reach,” “Several YA authors of color are adding depth to their repertoire this year by writing in outside the young adult world.” Check out some good reading options.

–Susie Rodarme (for Book Riot) shares “Beyond Murakami: 7 Japanese Authors to Read

–Swapna Krishna (for Book Riot) makes “An African Reading List.” “Through extensive Googling and suggestions from fellow Rioters, I’ve compiled the following list. These are fiction books by African authors, sorted by country. Not every African country is represented here, though I did my best. All of these books are available for purchase in the U.S. If an author has written multiple books (such as Achebe or Adichie), I listed just one so you’d have the author’s name. I also did not have any sort of genre/format restriction, so though most of these are adult literary fiction, not all of them are.”


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