Friday, May 15, 2009

Diversity In Reading: A Meme

This meme has been circulating around the blogosphere a while. I read a very interesting discussion that ensued at one bloggers site, here. What Renay and her readers have to say is revealing but not surprising to me. How do you fair with this? If you choose to answer, post your response on your blog and leave us a link. And let me say kudos and thanks to Renay for standing firm on her positions.

1. Name the last book by a female author that you’ve read.

2. Name the last book by an African or African-American author that you’ve read.

3. Name one from a Latino/a author.

4. How about one from an Asian country or Asian-American?

5. What about a GLBT writer?

6. Why not name an Israeli/Arab/Turk/Persian writer, if you’re feeling lucky?

7. Any other “marginalized” authors you’ve read lately?

8 comments:

Zetta Elliott said...

Like I said before, white folks need to work this one out for themselves...I'll give this a try, though I likely don't remember exact dates...

Eva said...

I've done it here.

Ello said...

You know that as a minority I seek out diversity in books like a moth to a flame and I know because of that that we are very underrepresented. So my take on this is that it isn't a readers fault for not being more diverse in their reading choices, but more the publishers fault for not taking a chance on minorities.

Color Online said...

Hi Ellen,

I think it would help if we could get readers past guilt and blame, and guide them to reads that are fun, pleasurable, informative and quality writing. You say diversity and too many readers think the book will be a heavy, depressing read. Well, sometimes it is. But writers of color are monolithic in their styles nor themes.

Sometimes I want to scream, "Just pick up a book and read already. Stop letting your preconceived notions keep you from a good book!"

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I would post this as a blog post, but mostly it's saying, um, no, no, no. So my answers would be:

1. Name the last book by a female author that you’ve read.

I don’t intentionally seek out books by one gender or another – although Library Thing analyzes our library as over 90% male!

2. Name the last book by an African or African-American author that you’ve read.

Killing the Black Body by Dorothy Roberts

3. Name one from a Latino/a author.

None!!!

4. How about one from an Asian country or Asian-American?

Lisa See, Shanghai Girls
Is Indian counting as Asian? Several chick lit books by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

5. What about a GLBT writer?

None lately that I know of, i.e., none with an explicit declaration and/or theme

6. Why not name an Israeli/Arab/Turk/Persian writer, if you’re feeling lucky?

Lipstick Jihad by Azadeh Moaveni

7. Any other “marginalized” authors you’ve read lately?


I am now listening in the car to Roads to Quoz by William Least Half-Moon (part Native American Indian) although he is not writing on a marginalized theme.

***************

I would have to say that lately, my choice of books has been more influenced by “I got this book from a publisher” than “I got this book because I affirmatively went and chased it down.” Therefore what I’m reading is very different from what I “normally” read but I think that’s okay (for a while). I think it’s as instructive to be exposed to what “everybody else” is reading as it is to select multicultural literature or my usual, which would be history and sociology. On the other hand, I’m having trouble keeping my interest level up with the “everybody” books, and I really do prefer nonfiction.

Obviously I’ve got a [gaping] gap in the Latino/a cultural department. The newspaper in Tucson though is amazingly good at including “cultural information” articles, so there are weekly articles explaining Mexican culture, or that of the Native American group here, the Tohono Od’ham. I love reading magazines and newspapers - perfect for the short attention span! - so I do a lot of that.

Gavin said...

I did this at the beginning of the month. Here is the link:
http://page247.wordpress.com/2009/05/03/sunday-salon-a-diversity-in-reading-meme/

Tara Betts said...

. Name the last book by a female author that you’ve read.
Enplumada by Lorna Dee Cervantes

2. Name the last book by an African or African-American author that you’ve read.
cooling board by Mitchell L.H. Douglas

3. Name one from a Latino/a author.
Lilus Kikus by Elena Poniatowska

4. How about one from an Asian country or Asian-American?
The Book of Salt by Monique Truong

5. What about a GLBT writer?
The Other Side of Paradise by Staceyann Chin

6. Why not name an Israeli/Arab/Turk/Persian writer, if you’re feeling lucky?
Unfortunately, It Was Paradise by Mahmoud Darwish

7. Any other “marginalized” authors you’ve read lately?
Evie Shockley, Crystal Williams, Reginald Sheperd, Marilyn Chin, Karen S. Williams.

This meme also made me think of this blog:
http://welcomewhitefolks.blogspot.com/

Color Online said...

Hey Tara,
Thanks for responding. Carleen is no stranger here. Her site's listed here. :-)