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Diversity 101: Gay in YA

cbcdiversity:

Contributed to CBC Diversity by Adam Silvera

When writing diverse books, we’re writing about choices—and the things we can’t choose. Harry Potter could have chosen not to go to Hogwarts, but spending the rest of his youth with the incorrigible Dursleys would’ve sucked for all involved—Harry, the Dursleys, and the readers who became readers because of the boy wizard. Katniss Everdeen didn’t have to volunteer as tribute in The Hunger Games in place of Prim, but life in District 12 was bleak enough without watching someone act like her younger sister’s name wasn’t announced for a battle to the death. There are choices characters—and people—make because the alternative is simply unspeakable. But then there are the ones who don’t have a choice at all. They don’t choose to be Latino, they don’t choose mental illness, they don’t choose their sexual orientation. Who gives them a voice? I, along with many others, volunteer as tribute.

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350 Followers!!

Hi Everyone!

Wow I can’t believe that I hit 350 Followers for this blog! It’s a bit of a surreal feeling. I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone who has followed this blog from the beginning and to those who just started following!! I hope you find this tumblr interesting and if there is anything you’d like me to post about let me know!

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Savindi

amandaonwriting:

Happy Birthday, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, born 15 September 1977

12 Quotes

  1. I think you travel to search and you come back home to find yourself there.
  2. I have been writing since I was old enough to spell. I have never considered not writing.
  3. The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.
  4. Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.
  5. Racism should never have happened and so you don’t get a cookie for reducing it.
  6. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.
  7. If you don’t understand, ask questions. If you’re uncomfortable about asking questions, say you are uncomfortable about asking questions and then ask anyway.
  8. Because of writers like Chinua Achebe and Camara Laye … I realized that people like me, girls with skin the colour of chocolate, whose kinky hair could not form ponytails, could also exist in literature.
  9. You can’t write a script in your mind and then force yourself to follow it. You have to let yourself be.
  10. The best novels are those that are important without being like medicine; they have something to say, are expansive and intelligent but never forget to be entertaining and to have character and emotion at their centre.
  11. I write from real life. I am an unrepentant eavesdropper and a collector of stories. I record bits of overheard dialogue.
  12. Our histories cling to us. We are shaped by where we come from.

Adichie is a Nigerian writer. Her best known novels are Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, and Americanah.

Source for image

by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

Clearly, there’s more to the lack of diversity in children’s books than whether or not POC are creating and publishing them. Could it be that some lack the motivation to seek out the books that are already there? That’s what René Saldaña, Jr., is asking. Now, I am, too.

Mind you, I’m not saying that we don’t need more books by people of color, because we most certainly do. The numbers show that we are woefully off the mark in producing diverse books in numbers commensurate with the proportion of our ever-increasingly diverse population. But that said, I am suggesting that we, perhaps, look at the issue a little more closely, that we ask a few more uncomfortable, but necessary, questions.

Mister Cellophane by Nikki Grimes

(via tubooks)

If we can’t write diversity into sci-fi, then what’s the point? You don’t create new worlds to give them all the same limits of the old ones.

At Nine Worlds, I purchased a copy of Zen Cho’s beautiful collection entitled Spirits Abroad, published by the Malaysian press Buku Fixi. I was struck by the publisher’s manifesto, which appears on the back of the flyleaf. In this manifesto, the publisher states:

We will not use italics for non-American/non-English terms.

The publisher then goes on to say: “Nasi lemak and kongkek are some of the pleasures of Malaysian life that should be celebrated without apology; italics are a form of apology.”

Reading this and considering italics as a form of apology, I find myself thinking of writers coming from countries that have endured colonization, from countries where English is an imposed tongue. I find myself asking: do we really need to explain everything to the imagined Western reader? I think of italics, apologies and explanations, and the connecting line between these words.

If we have read and consumed work from writers from the West without complaint, if we have gone that extra step to fully engage with that work, surely we can trust that those who seek out our stories will also take that extra step to meet us halfway.