Why literature needs more diversity

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  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    May 31, 2014 9:13 p.m.

    I'm curious to know something. How many people of different races are submitting books to be published? Does discrimination have anything to do with it? If not, then ethnicity probably has little to do with it. I don't think I could write a book about an African American or Latino because I just don't know enough about their culture. Also, who are buying these books? I loved 'The Help' and that had Caucasians and African Americans in it. I also love Amy Tang, and she is of Asian origin.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    May 31, 2014 7:55 p.m.

    Why are there more works of literature in English and the main characters are white males? Well, because white, English readership far surpassed non-white, non-English readership for centuries. And until the last century, the lives of males were far more likely to capture the popular imagination than the lives of females. In the literature produced in the last few decades for youth, we have seen a demographic transformation in the types of characters portrayed. Even the example of "Harry Potter" demonstrates a strong, extremely intelligent female character in Hermione. Harry would have been toast without Hermione.

    What I am trying to say is that literature reflects the world of the authors. Our world has changed, and so our literature will change to reflect it.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    May 25, 2014 2:02 p.m.

    @DN Subscriber
    "There are plenty of non-white people in non-fiction worthy of study and emulation"

    The article didn't claim there wasn't those books (and I'm not sure why you want to suggest the left ignores it since those books are frequently written by those race and gender studies type majors that are often left-wing individuals). The article was just saying that there's a lack when it comes to fiction.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    May 25, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    In the Dora the Explorer books, she often speaks Spanish and refers to parents and grandmother with Spanish words. I always assumed she was of Mexican-American ethnicity. However, I like what DN Subscriber said "... the reader is free to assume that they can be of any race."

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    May 25, 2014 11:00 a.m.

    I think that my favorite book on diversity is "The Eye of the Storm" by John Groberg. He was an LDS missionary living on a small island in the South Pacific in the 1950's. He encountered a lot of different cultural paradigms and then he was able to understand them rather than condemning them (like a lot of people tend to do).

    I think that Herman Melville's "Typee" is s good book to read about diversity. Herman Melville was living in a valley of Polynesian cannibals in 1842 and he was contrasting their culture with Western culture. The problem is he didn't live there long enough to figure out why they were doing things. But he just noticed they were different in a lot of ways. But he constantly shows the readers how they were similar to Westerners in having a common humanity.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 25, 2014 9:00 a.m.

    Sorry, this is typical leftist nonsense, aimed at assuaging "white guilt" or actually encouraging it in the name of division and the sacred altar of "Diversity."

    With very few exceptions, characters in fiction books (other than those endorsed by the left) are not highlighted as to race, and the reader is free to assume that they can be of any race.

    There are plenty of non-white people in non-fiction worthy of study and emulation, although the left rather not talk about many of them because they achieved on their own merits, not as a result of liberal handout programs. Crispus Atticks; Booker T. Washington; Robert Smalls; the men of the 54th Massachustts ("Glory"); Sacajawea; Martin Luther King; Clarance Thomas; Condaleeza Rice; the Tuskegee Airmen; and scores of other historical persons have been written about and are worthy of study and admiration. Even Barack Obama is an inspiring story, although his policies are nearly all wrong.

    We do not need quotas on racial identity of authors or characters. Let them be judged by the content of their pen or character, not the color of their skin.