Another informative and sobering infographic from Lee & Low Books!
As reviewers reflect on the year in books, children’s book publisher LEE & LOW BOOKS decided to look at the level of diversity among last year’s New York Times Best Sellers. LEE & LOW focused on the most general category, The New York Times Combined Print & E-Book Adult Fiction Best Sellers. They examined the top ten best selling books on the list for each week of 2012.
The result? For the chosen category in 2012, only three out of 124 authors on the New York Times Top Ten Best Sellers List were people of color:
- Sylvia Day, author of the Crossfire series (half Japanese)
- E.L. James, author of the 50 Shades of Grey series (half Chilean)
- •Tess Gerritsen, author of the Rizzoli and Isles series (Chinese)
The study also showed that no African American authors made the Top Ten Best Sellers list. In addition, of the three books/book series by authors of color that made the list, only one contains a main character of color (Eva Tramell of the Crossfire series is part Latina). That means most “big” books featuring characters of color, such as The Help, are still written by white authors.
The numbers illustrate that the books getting the widest distribution and the largest marketing push are still almost exclusively by and about white people.
Check out LEE & LOW’s blog post on this infographic and their interview with Taiwanese American author Charles Yu!
O. Henry: The Gift of the Magi
LRI Call to Action: The Front Lines are Everywhere by Matt Remle
As battles wage across Maka Ina, Mother Earth, between the children of earth and the children of profit many ask what they can do to help. While many express the desire to stand shoulder to shoulder with those literally placing their bodies on the front line the reality is that most people will not have the opportunity to travel to these front line locations. Below are a few ways you can support battles against fracking, corporate greed and protect mni, water.
“James Luna often uses his body as a means to critique the objectification of Native American cultures in Western museum and cultural displays. He dramatically calls attention to the exhibition of Native American peoples and Native American cultural objects in his Artifact Piece, 1985-87. For the performance piece Luna donned a loincloth and lay motionless on a bed of sand in a glass museum exhibition case. Luna remained on exhibit for several days, among the Kumeyaay exhibits at the Museum of Man in San Diego. Labels surrounding the artist’s body identified his name and commented on the scars on his body, attributing them to “excessive drinking.” Two other cases in the exhibition contained Luna’s personal documents and ceremonial items from the Luiseño reservation.
Many museum visitors as they approached the “exhibit” were stunned to discover that the encased body was alive and even listening and watching the museum goers. In this way the voyeuristic gaze of the viewer was returned, redirecting the power relationship.
Through the performance piece Luna also called attention to a tendency in Western museum displays to present Native American cultures as extinct cultural forms. Viewers who happened upon Luna’s exhibition expecting a museum presentation of native American cultures as “dead,” were shocked by the living, breathing, “undead” presence of the luiseño artist in the display. Luna in Artifact Piece places his body as the object of display in order to disrupt the modes of representation in museum exhibitions of native others and to claim subjectivity for the silenced voices eclipsed in these displays. “