Romance by authors of color

Over the past week, there’s been a spirited discussion on Romance Twitter (yes, it’s a thing) about the way the industry and publishers treat authors of color as well as readers of color. Authors told stories about being shunted to “ethnic” imprints, seeing books by white authors featuring characters of color with racist tropes in them, and, in one thoughtless thread, someone asked if people of color even wanted to read or write romance.

If you’re wondering how to find an author of color writing good romance, here are some great recent choices available at the Seattle Public Library:

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Own Voices Comics

#ownvoices is a social media hashtag, first suggested on Twitter by Corinne Duyvis in September 2015 as a tool “to recommend kidlit about diverse characters written by authors from that same diverse group”. It is related to, and overlaps with, the “We Need Diverse Books” movement/non-profit organization. As a tool and a movement, #ownvoices can be used to describe any marginalized group within any genre of any art form; it is purposefully unrestrictive.

Try out these #ownvoices comics in The Seattle Public Library collection, where the creators (writer[s]) or artist[s]) share a marginalized identity with a protagonist:

The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye by Sonny Liew

The Eisner Award winning graphic novel from Singaporean-based Malaysian creator Sonny Liew tells the fictional story of Singaporean comics creator Charlie Chan Hock Chye, whose life and art parallel and evolve alongside the actual history of modern Singapore.

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