Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Each week, you feature a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR and a diverse book that has not yet been released.
Since diversity is quite a broad term that covers many different aspects, to ensure I’m reading across the whole spectrum I will choose an area to focus on each week. This week I will be talking about anthologies featuring diverse voices!
A CHANGE IS GONNA COME ANTHOLOGY
Featuring top Young Adult authors alongside a host of exciting new talent, this anthology of stories and poetry from BAME writers on the theme of change is a long-overdue addition to the YA scene. Contributors include Tanya Byrne, Inua Ellams, Catherine Johnson, Patrice Lawrence, Ayisha Malik, Irfan Master, Musa Okwonga and Nikesh Shukla.
Plus introducing four fresh new voices in YA fiction: Mary Bello, Aisha Bushby, Yasmin Rahman and Phoebe Roy.
I read this as an eARC last month so it hasn’t yet been released but I’m so excited for everyone to read this incredible anthology of BAME voices in UKYA when it comes out next month. I have been anticipating it ever since Stripes put out a call for unpublished writers earlier this year and the four chosen submissions are just phenomenal.
THE GOOD IMMIGRANT EDITED BY NIKESH SHUKLA
How does it feel to be constantly regarded as a potential threat, strip-searched at every airport?
Or be told that, as an actress, the part you’re most fitted to play is ‘wife of a terrorist’? How does it feel to have words from your native language misused, misappropriated and used aggressively towards you? How does it feel to hear a child of colour say in a classroom that stories can only be about white people? How does it feel to go ‘home’ to India when your home is really London? What is it like to feel you always have to be an ambassador for your race? How does it feel to always tick ‘Other’?
Bringing together 21 exciting black, Asian and minority ethnic voices emerging in Britain today, The Good Immigrant explores why immigrants come to the UK, why they stay and what it means to be ‘other’ in a country that doesn’t seem to want you, doesn’t truly accept you – however many generations you’ve been here – but still needs you for its diversity monitoring forms.
Inspired by discussion around why society appears to deem people of colour as bad immigrants – job stealers, benefit scroungers, undeserving refugees – until, by winning Olympic races or baking good cakes, or being conscientious doctors, they cross over and become good immigrants, editor Nikesh Shukla has compiled a collection of essays that are poignant, challenging, angry, humorous, heartbreaking, polemic, weary and – most importantly – real.
This is another anthology featuring BAME voices in the UK, but rather than short stories or poems it’s a collection of essays and not just tailored to young adults. I desperately want to get around to reading this soon because, as the J. K. Rowling quote on the cover says, it’s so important and timely.
OUR STORIES, OUR VOICES EDITED BY AMY REED
In a collection that covers a wide breadth of topics, twenty-one YA authors share deeply personal thoughts and experiences about growing up female in America. These essays explore themes ranging from the intersection of race and gender to women and weight, from first sexual experiences to the devastation of rape culture, from the unique facets of being first- or second-generation American to the role of faith in our culture, and everything in between.
Ultimately, it’s a message of hope and empowerment from women who have built their lives around the idea that words matter. Voices matter. It’s time to use ours.
I’m pretty sure I’m doing this ‘releasing soon’ thing wrong because this anthology isn’t out until a year from now but I saw the cover reveal a few weeks ago and I just had to include it here so I can talk about how beautiful it is. Inspired by the election, this collection of essays is not only important and timely to Americans but to readers all around the world.