Steph Su interviews Cara Chow, author of Bitter Melon Gracie raises Frances as a single mother. Was there a reason you decided not to include the presence of a father figure in BITTER MELON? In the first draft of the book, Frances had a mom, an aloof, deadbeat, biological father, and a loving step-dad. Later, I axed the deadbeat biological father and made the loving step-dad into Frances’s only dad. This father figure was very important in the story. By the second or third draft, it became clear that my story lacked focus. It had too many plots: the mother-daughter plot, the father-daughter plot, and the overachievement plot. To tame my story, I would have to choose one. At one point, I was considering making it a father-daughter story, putting the mother in the background. In the end, I decided to make it a mother-daughter story, with the overachievement issue being a symptom of the mother-daughter dynamic. To intensify the power struggle between Frances and Gracie, I decided to axe the dad. This nearly killed me because Frances’s dad was so lovable and I had received so much positive feedback on this character. But doing so strengthened the story. Without a dad to support the family, Gracie is much more dependent on Frances, which increases Frances’s obligation to her mother, as well as her guilt
Zetta Elliott writes about Unpacking the Past I may eventually learn to let go of the past, but I cannot—will not—accept the fact that black children in Canada (or the US) still don’t have books that reflect their varied realities. For if black children can’t see themselves in books, then children of other races can’t see them, either. I write speculative fiction, in part, because it is a genre that allows me to play with the past—to reshape, revise, and repair a world where children of color are too often invisible, or marginal, or powerless. It took a long time to heal my own imagination, to undo the damage caused by years of consuming distorted representations of black people; for me, writing is therapeutic because I am finally able to “talk back” to the adults and institutions that failed me as a child. I come from a long line of disappearing people and perhaps that, too, drives my insistence upon being seen and heard.
Edi, a high school librarian, recently highlighted Georgia Scott, who shines a spotlight on headwraps and the women around the world who wear them.
In, 2000, Georgia Scott became fascinated with the fad in the US Black community of wearing headwraps. Her passions overtook her, she re-arranged her life and parted for a year-long voyage to discover why women in various parts of the globe cover their heads, who wears headwraps and what they have in common. She seemed to have found more variations than commonalities. Head coverings can be made of silk, muslin, gauze, wool or other fabrics that are tied, wrapped, folded or twisted.
B is for Beauty by Alberto Ferreras reviewed @Livin la Vida Latina
Blogger S. Krishna's - Reorganization of South Asian Review Database If you’ve visited the South Asian Review Database today, you may have noticed a change. As I’ve been perusing the database lately, I’ve been struck by the disorganization and clutter of the Mr. Linkys and have realized that it can be difficult to find a review or see what the database has to offer, as well as what it’s missing. I like clean lines on blogs, and I discovered that the database was driving me slightly crazy but I didn’t know what to do about it.