I just spoke with one of my co-workers at Bloomsbury about the “Magic Under Glass” cover and need to apologize for my previous blog post. The main character of “Magic Under Glass” is not African American. If you read the Charlotte’s Library blog, you will see that the main character is of color, but is not African American.
Here are a few quotes taken from Charlotte’s blog:
‘I thought it might be a useful contribution to the discussion to share exactly how Nimira is described, because most of the people talking about it haven’t read the book. All the page numbers refer to the ARC. I tried to find every example, but may have missed some.
“My hair tumbled down my back, glossy black and shining in the low light.” (page 3)
“I knew how the men of Lorinar thought, what they wanted. To him, I was dark and foreign and crude.” (page 4)
“…pink does not do with skin like yours.” (pp 32-33)
“Miss Rashten thinks pink doesn’t suit my complexion,” I warned him.
“Nonsense,” he said. “There is no color more feminine than pink; no woman it does not suit, and you especially, with your golden glow.” (page 64)
“[The dress] dipped low in back and front…exposing what seemed like far too much of my brown skin.” (page 96)’
It was not my intention to attack Bloomsbury. My experiences with my co-workers there had been nothing but positive and I do consider them family. Yes, I think that the “Liar” cover incident was unfortunate and I do think that the team missed out on an opportunity to diversify. I also wish that someone from the company had responded to at least one of the blogs. Even with “Magic Under Glass”, maybe it wouldn’t have been a bad idea if one of the editors had responded to Ari’s post to clarify.
So, this is a lesson to all of us. First, let’s be more open about race and talk about some of the issues that we tend to ignore; and second, let’s READ THE BOOKS before we crucify the book makers. People *are* reading and our opinions do matter and can spark great change, but we have to remember that with great power comes great responsibility.
Do better everyone (self included).