Last March, I went to a We Need Diverse Books panel at The New School where Daniel José Older. I was incredibly moved by all the speakers, but knew in particular I wanted to read Shadowshaper because of Older’s insightful comments about representation, artistic responsibility, and craft. These insights shined through in the story of Sierra Santiago, a teenage girl in Brooklyn who discovers that people have been connecting spirits with the murals in her neighborhood in an act called shadowshaping. But all is not right in the spiritual world. The murals are weeping and disappearing. Her grandfather, who’s suffered from a stroke, won’t stop apologizing to her. Soon it becomes very clear that Sierra, herself, is in danger and she doesn’t even know why.
Happy Thursday, friends! I’ve written about diverse books a few times on the blog and more and more have been setting goals to read diversely. It’s wonderful to be in New York where so many people want to have these discussions in the book/writing/publishing world. Last week, there was a panel on We Need Diverse Books at The New School. It featured New School MFA alum Sona Charaipotra, Una LaMarche and Daniel José Older. They talked about research methods, negative representations, craft issues when writing cross culturally, and more.
A friend and I wrote a blog post about the event for school which you can read here if you’re interested. I’ve read (and loved) Sona’s book Tiny Pretty Things, and am really excited to dive into the books from the other panelists which I bought at the event.
Would love any of your diverse book suggestions in the comments!