Thoughts on Diversity in Books

Discuss the January 2017 Book of the Month, We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson.
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Kb3ck
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Re: Thoughts on Diversity in Books

Post by Kb3ck » 17 Feb 2017, 17:57

I think if certain groups of people would like to have more diversity in books they should take it upon themselves to create the change. The people that care the most about it are going to be the people that are underrepresented. Most of those that are represented in literature are not going to care to make a change. The more popular authors are not going to care enough to make a change in their writing to please everyone. There are always going to be people that are not going to be happy with how they are represented. Like they say, you have to be the change that you want to see in the world. If you want to be better represented take the steps that you can to help activate that change.

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Post by Mannie913 » 20 Feb 2017, 20:23

I think there has been a lot of diversity recently in books. The book I just currently finished, my main character was black. I also like that in Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments, one of the main characters is gay. It even hints a little about how hard it is to come out to his parents even though his partner is a famous warlock. This is a top selling series and I don't think it's harmed it at all.

Also, I think each person views their characters differently. Not that anyone is racist but they just immediately make it as relatable to them so they feel like they are the main character. Before they even give me a description of my character I already have a vision in mind. Some times the description the author gives me, isnt the same as what I originally envisioned so it's hard for me to change my view.

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Post by dosenron877 » 24 Feb 2017, 03:22

For me, the genius of this book was that it did not grapple with an LBGT issue. The story was presented from a view of acceptance. Without judging or mentioning Henry's choice, Mom offers to have a safe sex talk. Audrey might be in love with Henry, but she accepts a choice made. Charlie (brother) is accepting. Some teachers are clueless, but the sentient ones accept Henry's choice. The only one to make a big deal of it, Marcus, as he attempts concealment of his role, still accepts Henry. Even Nana (grandmother) accepts Henry during her infrequent appearances in the world of reality.

In other words, the author doesn't write about an issue. He just lets characters show their reactions as relationships mature. I like books in which the authors don't take strident, defensive, righteous positions.

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Post by noorsawhney » 26 Feb 2017, 13:02

I think diversity is so incredibly important; characters should be an accurate representation of the world. It is especially important in children's and young adult books because they of all people need to see characters that they can identify with, going through the things that they go through. There definitely is a lack of diversity in literature, even though it has increased in past years.
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Post by kashif faridi » 09 Mar 2017, 02:28

Since the international printing industry is dominated by West /US and its easy to launch one's writings surely and profitably there, the fact on diversity is least visible. Local industry of a country is a replica of my first line in their own country where is seldom visible. Internationally, we need to have diversity in books to allow coming together of civilizations, people, and cultures for better understanding and closeness and brotherhood.

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Post by Bfrisco » 09 Mar 2017, 19:20

I think that one important step to cultivating more diversity in novels is by openly supporting authors who include diverse characters in significant roles. As we talk more about diversity in media, hopefully, creators will be encouraged to include more diversity in novels. I think YA novels can be especially important, because a lot of younger fans are reading YA novels and by showing a diverse cast of characters to a younger audience, they might grow up to create content that includes diversity as well.

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Post by Brea_21 » 13 Mar 2017, 12:53

I think there are many books with diversity but are not promoted as much as others. I found myself having to talk to a professor to get recommendations on diverse books. I found that I loved them! So I really think people need to be more open and not rely on the popular topics!

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Post by Lincoln » 13 Mar 2017, 15:02

I try to put diversity into things I write, but in general I think people are interested as much in diversity of voices as characters.
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Post by SandraTWP-BRW » 15 Mar 2017, 13:52

Last month, I read a book where the main character was a person of color; I read another with a mc a person of color and one where the mc was gay in January. Full disclosure: I would not have heard of those books if it weren't for OBC (so, yay). I think - like so many aspects of our lives - people choose that which is already familiar. It's too bad people don't seek out what's unfamiliar, because there are some amazing books out there.

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Post by Lincoln » 17 Mar 2017, 07:29

SandraTWP-BRW wrote:Last month, I read a book where the main character was a person of color; I read another with a mc a person of color and one where the mc was gay in January. Full disclosure: I would not have heard of those books if it weren't for OBC (so, yay). I think - like so many aspects of our lives - people choose that which is already familiar. It's too bad people don't seek out what's unfamiliar, because there are some amazing books out there.
Yeah, it's a common thing for people to seek out others who look/think/act like them, and studies show that this echo-chamber effect is only getting worse.
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Post by CarrieMe » 18 Mar 2017, 02:04

I try to seek out diverse books, but I don't do as well as I should. I definitely make an effort to share them when I find them though. As readers, we need to demand diversity in our books as much as possible.

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Post by KasieMiehlke » 18 Mar 2017, 14:53

I believe that there are quite a few books that have diversity, however; in some of them, especially the older ones, the minority is often potrayed negatively. I think the main characters need to be more diverse and that minorities also need to be portrayed in a more positive aspect.

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Post by Dh_ » 18 Mar 2017, 17:13

I agree that in the past there wasn't much diversity, but I think that's definitely changed. A lot of books I've read recently represent the LBGT community. People are becoming more accepting of others and I think that's really reflected in new books.

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Post by Jeyran Main » 23 Mar 2017, 08:57

I am surprised to read this. I have read many books containing people of different backgrounds and diverse cultures.

In fact, in the past couple of years that has become a trend as people are getting bored with the same type of characters.

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Post by Rebeccaej » 23 Mar 2017, 15:50

I think it's important to flip the conversation around: real life is diverse. Diverse books aren't special--they're just reflecting the world as it is.

Pepole aren't *making* books, movies, etc diverse because people like to see themselves in media.
What's going on is that, up into recently, the western world has been producing media that's disproportionately about only certain groups of people, because those people wanted to see themselves AND NO ONE ELSE in media.

Media isn't becoming more diversified. It's becoming less colonialized.

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