Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Black book blues

Bernice McFadden raised an interesting and troubling question in her blog a couple of weeks ago. Here's what she had to say.

You may not know me, or my novels, because I am a member of a growing band of African-American writers of literary fiction who are slowly disappearing..... I don't rightly know why publisher’s market fiction written by African-Americans ONLY TO African-Americans - but it has become common practice. And by doing this, they've placed all AA authors in one box forcing them to compete for the attention of ONE audience.
The word that has been coined to describe what is happening to AA writers is: Seg-Book-Gation

You can read the an article about her post here and her whole letter here
'Round the same time, Virginia DeBerry posted "An Open Letter to Oprah" on her blog, lamenting similar problems. Clearly, something's going on out there and it's not good. Yes these authors want to sell copies of their own books--all us authors want that--but they are touching on a problem that is pervading the industry right now. Don't want to just sit and cry but do need to think about where we go from here--and hey, Oprah's going off the air in two years. She ain't gonna save us.
So what will? Thoughts?

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