On Reading: The Importance of Representation

Hi, readers!

Today I’m sharing some thoughts on the importance of representation in literature. I think diversity in literature across all genres has come a long way, but we could still do better. When I refer to representation, I think we need to increase diversity in authors, characters, publishers, and content. The Lily has a great comic on the need for representation in children’s literature, which you can read here.

Representation is important because…

every single person deserves to see themselves in the media they consume.

authors deserve the opportunity to share their truths and stories.

media should be free from hatred, bigotry, and stereotypes.

our world is diverse and our media should be, too.

Looking to read more diversely? Check out these resources:

Diverse Books Club selects monthly themes and book titles for group reads. They do a great job of highlighting a variety of stories, with themes including adoption, chronic illness, and deafness. They recommend books for a variety of age levels, too.

On Twitter, @RebelWomenLit celebrates “diverse literature and sisterhood.” They post reviews and recommend a variety of diverse books across genres.

Roxane Gay released her reading list from 2017. It’s fantastic and full of popular and less popular books. If you ever need a book recommendation, she’s the person to consult.

Looking to change up your social media? Book Riot put together a list of Bookstagrammers of color.

Looking for some book recommendations? Check out these books:

Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser (read my review)

I’m challenging you to pay attention to the books you read. Notice how many authors are straight white men. Notice if the only books you read about black people are books about slavery. Notice if the characters in the books you read come from another place, or have a disability, or look different than you. And then find books that have more representation.

What diverse books would you recommend?

I am an affiliate with Book Depository and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

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