We Need Diverse Books Round Up


Ever since I stumbled upon the We Need Diverse Books campaign, I've been so excited! I'm all for talking about diversity in our reading material. Sure, it's only supposed to run until May 3 but I think this campaign should be a continuing one. So here I am, a day late, doing a round-up of some of my 2014 reads that celebrate diversity.

Here we go! Click on titles to go to full reviews:

Incendiary Girls: Stories by Kodi Scheer
An amazing collection of short stories that explore the confluence of the human body and psyche. Has tinges of magical realism. There is a range of memorable stories: the title story deals with the Armenian genocide, another deals with an interracial love story.

The Isolation Door by Anish Majumdar
An affecting, empathetic portrayal of a young life forced to cope with the devastation of mental illness in the family. Incisive, brutal, raw and honest.Told by a young Indian immigrant. 
 
Silk Armor by Claire Sydenham
This is a tragedy and an illumination of self-identity tied in to the symbol of the veil. Set in Turkey, I highly recommend this for those who enjoy multicultural stories and those who are looking for a better understanding of the pressures modern women face within traditional cultures.

A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain by Adrianne Harun
A gritty, mystical take on the unexplained disappearances of many Native American women on a highway in an isolated British Columbia town.

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
Set in 1950s New York, this is a story of an African American family posing as white ... until their secret is discovered through the birth of their dark-skinned child. Touches upon race, interracial marriages, standards of beauty, and towards the end, gender.

The Frangipani Hotel: Stories by Violet Kupersmith
Inspired by her Vietnamese grandmother's traditional ghost stories, Kupersmith showcases her  chilling collection that drives home the themes of immigration, grappling with the past and tradition, and discovering one's identity. Recommended for those who'd like to experience a different type of scary.

Gagamba: The Spiderman by F. Sionil Jose
A deformed sweepstakes beggar sets the stage for a collection of vignettes of the common man and woman in the country that is the Philippines. I highly recommend it to all Filipinos, F. Sionil Jose fans, and especially those who are simply just those interested or curious about the Philippines and its people.

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2 comments:

  1. This looks like a great list! I love books that broaden our horizons and make us think... Sounds like all of these fit the bill. I agree with you: Seeking out diverse books shouldn't be a short-term initiative, but something we continue to do.

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  2. Great list! I didn't care too much for The Frangipani Hotel, though the part I did enjoy about it was the peek in on Vietnamese and Vietnamese American culture. (I'd like to find translations of the original ghost stories, if they even exist.) I also should definitely be reading Silk Armor soon!

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