Just How White Our Reading World Is

This popped up in the Washington Post:

I read books by only minority authors for a year. It showed me just how white our reading world is

White authors reign in book reviews, bestseller lists, literary awards and Amazon.com recommendations.

HamletIt’s an old story that I have been pointing out for many years but Sunili Govinnage gives a much more specific representation of what is known in some circles as the Dead White-Man Syndrome and in others as the Western Canon. One thing Govinnage does which I seldom do (being 85% literature snob) is read and cite some of the less literary and more popular fiction of the countries involved. I’m thinking that reading some good crime novels from, say, Indonesia, might be educational as well as entertaining. I know there have been several mystery or crime novelists from outside the United States who have been popular recently but they’re from Sweden or the Netherlands, or even Iceland … but they’re still a part of the world that reveres the Western Canon.

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