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Streetlight Reader

Judge a Book By Its Cover


Stopped in Barnes & Noble today and thought I’d see if there were any YA titles worth checking out.  How depressing to note the unsubtle message being sent by the cover images of the books on display:

  • 95 white girls
  • 30 white boys
  • 15 figures (male and female) in shadow
  • 1 racially ambiguous light brown girl
  • 1 drawing of an Asian boy (next to a drawing of a white girl)
  • 1 half of a black boy’s face (next to 1 half of a white girl’s face)

They really ought to rename the section “White Teen Fiction.”


It’s a good day!


And once again I’m still split down the line of Ravenclaw and Slytherin

Which leaves me with this: if I can no longer use these plot devices, what can I write about if I must write about South Asians?

I have an idea – one that will solve the cliché crisis in both South Asian novels and country music: combine the genres. How about a wise but slutty grandmother driving around a Ford pick-up truck recruiting young men in painted-on blue jeans into her terrorist cell by seducing them on the banks of the Ganges River, until a CIA-led Predator drone flies overhead and blasts them all to pieces, including Anshuk nearby who was too busy tilling to look up?

Yet, somehow, against all odds, the grandmother survives.