Reading Writers of Color

Mostly incidentally, I’ve spent this year reading books by and about women. I thought about doing #readwomen14 and decided I couldn’t really commit to itbecause I tend to get stressed out over limitations on what I can read, and end up feeling like I’m doing a chore rather than enjoying myselfbut then it kind of happened anyway, just because that’s what I’ve been drawn to. I’ve read 195 books so far this year, 132 by women and 103 with female protagonists (around 20 had multiple/mixed-gender protagonists, and somewhere between five and ten had no protagonist at all, like books of poetry). That’s a pretty good ratio, all things considered. But I’ve realized, after reading this article, that next year I want to focus on people of color.

americanah on a dinner plate, ready to be devoured

Of those 195 books, 113 are what I consider “real” booksmeaning they’re not children’s picture booksand only 18 of those, as far as I know, were by people of color. I discovered Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie this year and fell completely in love, so she accounts for almost a quarter of that number by herself. I’m really into literature from all over the world anyway, so I’m definitely sold on the idea of deliberately seeking out those authors. The author of the Bitch article read 50 books by people of color this year, and I think that’s a great goal for myself next year.


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