Thursday, March 14, 2013
Read This! Read It!
I have some writing philosophy that I try to live by these days. Mostly it's this: the world is too much dominated by straight white men, and can we try to make it better though our writing? That is, try to represent other viewpoints: women, people of color, differently abled people, sexual minorities, culturally different viewpoints. Not all at once, maybe, but at least one at any given time?
So I'm pretty thrilled by The Summer Prince, the new book by Alaya Dawn Johnson. It hits all my sweet spots without looking like it's trying. There's effortless queerness (that's just how it is); everyone's a person of color (hurrah!); our viewpoint character is a young woman confronted with her own privilege for the first time (yes!); and on top of this, there's a top notch story being told to the reader. I will say, there's a span of the book where I thought Johnson was going to fail to follow through on her premises. I was wrong, though: she had the courage to write what needed to be written, no matter how bitter it must have been to do it. This is one of my favorites of the last couple years for so many reasons, and I look forward to seeing if there's more to come in this beautifully depicted future Johnson's created.