Friday, August 7, 2009

Calling Them As They See Them on Racism and Sexism

Kelly McCullough over at Wyrdsmiths http://wyrdsmiths.blogspot.com/ is joining in calling out the new "Mammoth Book of Mindblowing Science Fiction" anthology for the lack of women writers and writers of color. Couldn't agree with him more.

A parallel discussion is going on in the world of YA where author Justine Larbalestier went public with her dismay over the cover that her US publisher, Bloomsbury, chose for her YA novel "Liar." The protagonist of the book is black, but the original cover showed a white girl. Now, thanks to outcry on the internet, Bloomsbury is reworking the jacket of the hardcover edition due out in October with new art featuring a black girl. The controversy has sparked a lot of discussion about whitewashing of covers and about racism in the marketing of YA books. (Brought to mind the whitewashing of Octavia Butler's covers in the world of scifi and fantasy publishing.) For more, check out discussion at Boing Boing http://www.boingboing.net/2009/07/23/race-and-book-covers.html and Publishers Weekly
http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6675065.html?nid=2788&source=link&rid=1516089744

1 comment:

Norma Boe said...

It's always amazing how some people and systems are unable to overcome their own self-interest and self-absorption to see that their actions and attitudes are harmful. I applaud writers like "Angry Black Woman" and Justine Larabalestier who have the courage and the rhetorical chops to call them out.

In the case of the cover for Liar, there has been incremental change. The photo of an obviously white girl has been replaced with a photo of a probably African-American girl. I guess that's a step towards progress.