Jason Benjamin’s HBO documentary Suited, produced by HBO’s Girls co-creators Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner, is an eye-opening journey into the niche subject of dressing for success when you’re a gender nonconforming individual. Brooklyn bespoke tailoring company Bindle & Keep is a no-frills, two-person operation consisting of straight, cisgender male founder Daniel who fell into his calling through his non-binary, apprentice-turned-colleague Rae (née Rachel)....more
Posts Tagged: diversity
There is such a stark cognitive dissonance at present—Black writers winning prestigious literary awards and facing watermelon jokes in the same moment, White editors wanting racial diversity while still publishing racist poems.
With an introduction by new Editor-in-Chief Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, former contributing editor Casey Rocheteau dissects and describes what went wrong with “white peoples’ best intentions for diversity at The Offing,” at The Offing....more
We remember the 80s as decidedly uncool, art included. But shoulder pads and good writing aren’t mutually exclusive:
The labels didn’t matter. What mattered was revealing the world and its beleaguered citizens rather than torturing them with edifying or otherwise aspirational myths that no one could (or should) hope to live up to.
David M. Perry writes for Pacific Standard on the newest wave of progressive speculative fiction. Perry writes in conversation with Daniel José Older, author of Shadowshaper and the Bone Street Rumba series....more
The books we read in childhood don’t always hold up to our memories of them. Sometimes it’s just a matter of juvenile or bad writing, but other times, it’s the author’s prejudices that turn us off as adults—and classic detective stories can be particularly troublesome:
Chesterton’s glorious evocations of light, landscape, and unnerving, lurid strangeness remain compelling.
Hey! We’re white! And we all voted for Obama! Twice! We should do something to help the literary downtrodden.
American literature is already frustrating enough with publishing sorely lacking in diversity. But things can be even worse when the white-dominated industry tries too hard to appeal to writers of color....more
While Lani’s sole purpose in the book seemed to be a genderqueer Jiminy Cricket, pulling the wool back from Claire’s incredibly naïve eyes, they allowed me to look past the narrative I’d been told since birth.
Over at Lit Hub, Carla Bruce-Eddings recalls how reading What Happened to Lani Garver during high school helped her understand what “other” truly meant....more
According to Publishers Weekly, publishing is so white because publishers—particularly the Big Five—have failed to implement concrete plans to diversify their hires. One publishing HR exec said that even though hiring quotas are risky and make people uncomfortable, an alternate plan is to do outreach through organizations like the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and We Need Diverse Books, and set internal targets that are actually enforced....more
As part of a series on diversity in publishing at Brooklyn Magazine, Molly McArdle talks with professionals across the publishing world about the state of diversity in the publishing industry today....more
A survey by book publisher Lee & Low showed that 78 percent of the publishing workforce is composed of straight white women, causing headlines about how women run publishing. But that’s not the whole story:
Yet these attention grabbers glazed over one of the more subtle aspects of the data, which shows that while the industry employs far more women overall, the difference is smaller at the executive level, with “approximately 40% of executives and board members identifying as men or cis-men.” As the compilers of the DBS report note: “This reflects the reality that males still ascend to positions of power more oven, even in female-dominated industries.”
We believe this is critical to our future: to publish the best books that appeal to readers everywhere, we need to have people from different backgrounds with different perspectives and a workforce that truly reflects today’s society.
Penguin Random House has dropped the requirement for job applicants to have a college degree in hopes that it will broaden the range of experiences in publishing....more
Books by white dudes are so inescapable that some readers have taken to (temporarily) swearing off their work. Jezebel’s Jia Tolentino considers whether those efforts are misguided:
We know that white male writers take up too much literary attention; the solution is not necessarily jamming everyone else into a bottle of social justice cough syrup, standing on a soap box, and gulping it all down.
Reading is an important part of developing as a writer. But what happens when all the books and authors we read are a homogenous group of white males? Non-white, non-male writers may still end up defaulting to writing about white male characters....more
Why do black characters, in particular, black women of color, have to have some curated, Huxtable-like experience? Why can’t black women, like every other human on earth, be sexual, nerdy, outrageous, or flawed? Why aren’t we allowed to share our stories of affairs, unrequited love, career failures and sexual diversity on camera?
It’s daunting knowing that you will be the only one of your kind at some of these events. When you’ve been made to feel your otherness so concretely in the past, it’s hard not to notice it. I can’t help but feel out of place, even if it’s only for a moment.
One of the things I run into surprisingly often is people saying to me, ‘I’ve never heard of you before’… Yet I’ve been publishing in ‘mainstream’ journals and my book won [the Pulitzer] prize, so what is it that is making me invisible?
For the Huffington Post, Carolina Moreno discusses Junot Diaz’s recent appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, where the award-winning author stressed the importance of reading authors from diverse backgrounds:
You look at this country and you look at this world and you need to understand it in complex ways… And part of that complexity is, of course, questions of gender: If you don’t want to deal and relate and think about what it means to be a woman in this planet— you’re going to have serious problems.