by Rayiah Ross
Building a diverse bookshelf may be the only way we can learn about ourselves and the world around us in a non-stereotypical way. Here is a short list of diverse authors who are changing the way books are being published today:
- Angie Thomas:
Thomas is originally known for her Black Lives Matter inspired YA novel, The Hate U Give that was quickly picked up and turned into a film. Now, Thomas’ sophomore novel, On the Come Up is being transformed into a movie also. What Thomas does best in writing, is taking fictional characters and made up neighborhoods and creating a real story with real emotion. She takes ideas that we’ve seen on the news or or even within ourselves and lays it on the page in a very raw and exposed manner. The novels that she had released so far both revolve around the society of African Americans and what being “woke” in a community really means
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Adichie is the author of the novels Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, The Thing Around Your Neck, Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, Americanah, We Should All Be Feminists. As a Nigerian writer, Adichie’s writing is a splitting image of her own need for books the African children and women can relate to. Her authentic style of writing gives representation for African realities by tackling subjects like Americanization, family dynamic, and religion.
- Tomi Adeyemi
Similar to Adichie, Adeyemi’s novel was a response to genre fiction in which the characters were always white. Adeyemi’s, Children of Blood and Bone, is a Afrofuturist fantasy drawn from from west African mythology. Karen Rosenfelt and Marty Bowen are set to produce the movie version of the book.
- Sandhya Menon
Sandhya Menon, bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi, shows the firsthand experience of Indian American culture and their traditions. In this romance novel, Rishi Patel and Dimple Shah, are secretly set up by their families, but eventually, develop their own romantic relationship while attending the same computer summer program at Stanford.
- Celeste Ng
Celeste Ng’s first book, Everything I Never Told You, focused on one couple and their mixed-race children in 1970s suburban America. Her newest work, Little Fires Everywhere, follows two families who are split in a custody battle over an Asian-American baby, May Ling Chow. Her mother Bebe is a Chinese immigrant who left May Ling on the steps of a fire station during a spell of postpartum depression. Now, Bebe wants her child -now called Mirabelle McCullough- back from the arms of a wealthy white couple. Both novels draw on the experience of what Ng describes as feeling “out of place but also conspicuous … continually other.”
This is only a small list of diverse authors, but there are so many more not enumerated. Authors like Tahereh Mafi, Jenny Han, Rupi Kaur, Nicola Yoon, Adam Silvera, Marie Lu, Nic Stone, Kevin Kwan, Dhonielle Clayton, and many more are huge advocates for awareness of discrimination, anxiety, bullying, and much more. Where in a new era where if you don’t see yourself in the books you’re reading, you should write it yourself -and honestly, it’s been a long time coming.