Monday, June 22, 2020

oh dear: about the nice white lady's book reviews

Well. That's uncomfortable. I was going to publish a list of my reviews of books by Black authors in time for Juneteenth, and I'm kind of horrified to realise that of the 161 book reviews I've published here, only 8 are by Black authors. Since people of African descent comprise only 3.5% of the Canadian population, I suppose that's actually representative, but it sure doesn't feel right.

Statistics Canada 2016 data
I don't actually review every book I read, but even so, I can and will do a lot better in reading mixed voices. Apparently, only 5% of Canada's population is Indigenous, but I've done an even worse job reading books by Indigenous authors, so ... ya. I've read relatively more books by authors of South Asian ancestry, but I think maybe that reading everything by Michael Ondaatje and Yann Martel, and the majority of Salman Rushdie's books, should really only count for one each - it's diversity of voices I'm interested in hearing. It's the people, not the books.

Anyway, this is the mini-list of now belated Juneteenth reviews/suggestions:

And my take-away - Canada is a lot less ethnically diverse than I thought and I need to do better choosing a wide-range of voices and artists to read.

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