Saturday, 6 March 2010

a different perspective

one of the things that's been keeping me busy over the summer is reading. i've been catching up on a few books, which i wrote about here. well, a few weeks ago, my younger daughter brought home a book by malorie blackman called "noughts and crosses". it's the first in a trilogy, and i've now read all three of them.

as i read the first one, it occurred to me that my reading list over summer was so totally white-washed, and i hadn't even realised it. even the book that was about slavery was written by a white woman. the only thing that could be called ethnic diversity in that list was the novel by a swedish writer.

now obviously this is my own mistake, and i'm the one who is responsible for having a more varied reading list. but then so much of what we read is determined by what is popular at the time, what catches our eye on the best seller lists, what is right in front of us. and the fact is that one has to make more of an effort to find books written by people of colour.

which is sad, because their stories can present such a different view of the world than the one we're used to seeing. and "noughts and crosses" certainly does that! i'm really disappointed that these books haven't turned into blockbuster films like the harry potter or twilight books, because they certainly deserve to be. but they challenge the status quo in a way that would make many people uncomfortable, so i guess hollywood executives just aren't interested.

2 comments:

Sandra - too heavy to stand on a soapbox, but undeterred said...

Just finished Noughts and Crosses. Riveting. I read Andrea Levy's All Lights in the House Burning last week (Jamaican-British writer who reminded me, amongst other things, how lucky I am to be back in NZ and no longer dependent on the British NHS) and now I want to read more of her.

A Nonny Moose said...

I've been reading XinRan's books of late ("Miss Chopsticks" and "Hidden Voices"). A wonderful insight into Chinese women, and has taught a few things about how to communicate better with some members of my extended family (ie: how to temper my "stroppy, push hard" caucasian feminism, against their history).