the year of the diverse?;

bookworm things

It is 2017! And I promised myself that I would try to be better about posting discussion posts on the blog. Yes, that means my schedule is a lot slower than other bloggers, but hey, so long as I keep blogging, right?

But even so, it has been difficult for me to get into the right mindframe. I was having a tough time trying to figure out what I should write about for my first post of 2017. And then it hit me.

No, not literally.

I got an email notification that Cait @ Paper Fury had a new blog post up, so obviously I went to read it. Her 2017 YA Genre Predictions (Which Can’t Possibly Go Wrong) included guest bloggers’ thoughts on what would be on the rise this year in the book community. Which gave me the inspiration I needed.

No, not to do the same thing.

But some of their predictions did spark of a train of thought. With the louder and more stringent demands by readers, is 2017 going to be the year for diverse representation?

the year of the diverse

I’ve talked about diversity before. More along the lines of PoC representation, but that is something that has come up on this blog a couple of times. I am all about diversity in media. More characters that look like me, sound like my grandparents – more characters that struggle with mental or physical disorders without being shamed for it or miraculously ‘fixed’ at the end of their journey.

Basically, I want it all.

And it seems like this year, I’ll be getting it. Or at least, some of it. It is safe to say that #OwnVoices has caught traction with a number of book bloggers, and it just keeps building up. So I’m definitely ready to see some of these books talked about on the blogs I visit. I’m also definitely ready to try to get my hands on these books myself.

Books about generally marginalised groups of people, by members of those communities?

Yes, please!

It’s not that I don’t think an author cannot write about something they have not experienced. Of course they can! So long as they do with respect, and with a lot of research. There’s just something about reading a book by someone who understands what they are writing about because they have experienced it.

I know I’m looking forward to delving into their stories, their experiences. Between Empress Of A Thousand Skies by Rhoda Bellza, Saints And Misfits by S.K. Ali and A Crown Of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi, it looks like I’m going to be spoiled for choice when it comes to writers with an Asian background. This – is a first for me.

And then there are the other books – the ones about the other types of diversity. And we know that these stories will not be diverse just for the sake of being ‘diverse’. I’m hoping for little to no harmful stereotypes or harmful tropes. I’m hoping for a rich and vibrant world, where everybody is different and everybody has a voice.

Hey, it could happen.

What do you think? Will this year be the year of diversity? Will this year meet our expectations, or will it fall sort?

And what are some of the diverse (not necessarily #OwnVoices) books you are looking forward to reading in 2017?

2016-04-12 11:46


Author: Ara

I’m Aradhna, a 25 year old who someday hopes to have published a novel, and who is currently losing herself in the worlds created by others. Recently graduated with a degree in Communications and currently completed a Masters course in Creative Writing (Screenwriting), this blog is a chronicle of all things to do with my Masters project, as well as other general geekiness. I get distracted and sidetracked easily.

8 thoughts on “the year of the diverse?;”

  1. I certainly hope there are more diverse books this year—POPULAR diverse books. There’s always going to be more diverse books, but it’d be awesome to see more NY Times bestsellers that shows everyone else how diversity is done. And this is coming from a white gal.

    I do have a question and I’d like to hear your opinion: how can (white) writers ensure that they are representing other races correctly? I have an idea for a fantasy novel that has an Indian/Pakistani influenced main character, but I’m nervous that it’ll either come across as insensitive to the culture or something. Besides actually talking to those groups of people for research, is there more we can consider and work on? That’s kind of vague, but if I pursue this idea, I want to start off right.

    1. That is very true. I hope to see these books on bestsellers lists, recommended by bloggers – and I hope that it’s not just a pat on the back for these people putting together the books before they go back to the same authors and types of books. I’m crossing my fingers, but I guess all we can do is wait and see.

      I think, like you said, research is very integral. Lots of research, on your own as well as talking to various people in those groups. And as and when you’re writing, asking them to beta read. Especially places where you are unsure about your portrayal of the character and the culture. And when you get someone to read the whole manuscript, get someone from that culture/group of people to read through the book. Get more than one person to read through it, and listen to what they have to say. Ask questions if they find certain things do not mesh well with the culture. Be respectful.

      I mean, these are just my ideas, things I would have to do if I ever go about writing some of my stories. But ultimately, I think respect for the people you are writing about, writing for, is very important.

      Hope that helps!

      1. It certainly does! I think my main obstacle is looking for beta readers who are Indian. But hey, what a great excuse to make new friends, right? I’ve already met one in a Facebook writing group, so there’s a good start. 🙂

  2. Such a great discussion post, Ara! I understand what you are saying and I totally agree that this year may be the year of diversity. More and more people around the blogosphere are reading more diverse novels/authors and it brightens my spirits! I agree that it’s a much better read when you know the author is diverse themselves, but then again, I think it’s still beneficial to read other novels by non-diverse authors. Awesome post, again! (:

    1. Thanks Jess! Yup, people have become more active in searching out diverse reads, and it is great to see! #OwnVoices is great, but yeah, non-diverse authors attempting (with proper research) to write things that stretch their views and those of their readers is also wonderful. Thanks for commenting!

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