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This just in from the LJ racism_101 community:

A New Look for 'Liar'
"Proof of the power of the web: Bloomsbury Children’s Books has told Publishers Weekly exclusively that it will change the controversial cover of Justine Larbalestier’s Liar ... 'We regret that our original creative direction for Liar—which was intended to symbolically reflect the narrator’s complex psychological makeup—has been interpreted by some as a calculated decision to mask the character’s ethnicity,' Bloomsbury officials said ... "
- Publisher's Weekly

OK, cynics - how'd you like them apples? Yes, protesting can help!

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
octopedingenue
Aug. 7th, 2009 03:05 am (UTC)
Yay! Though I will continue to be cynical re: their "I'm sorry you're upset" non-apology.
chomiji
Aug. 8th, 2009 02:09 am (UTC)

Well, yes, it was a lame-o apology. It was still refreshing to see something happen.

See, it doesn't make me want to sit back and say "OK, job done." It makes me want MOAR.

lady_ganesh
Aug. 8th, 2009 07:30 pm (UTC)
Agreed!
artillie
Aug. 7th, 2009 03:17 am (UTC)
...I still don't trust it. After all, they list "text-only" cover before cover featuring a black person. Bet that's the option they'll pick.

Still, it's a good thing they're pulling the cover.
chomiji
Aug. 8th, 2009 02:11 am (UTC)

Yeah, they're going from "actively offensive" to "exasperatingly timid." But I need even teensy victories to keep me going.

smillaraaq
Aug. 8th, 2009 02:53 am (UTC)
Yeah, if they're too chickenshit to actually put ZOMG SCARY MELANIN on the cover, I'd at least rather see a bland wall of text than a whitewashed total lie... *sighs*

Latest infuriating run-in with this sort of nonsense, from the bookseller side of things: I dropped by one of the downtown Borders stores on my way to the show tonight, and while I was guzzling my tea I remembered that the latest of Tananarive Due's "African Immortals" vampire books was finally supposed to be out in trade paperback...I've been waiting impatiently for this one because I adore this series and have been wanting to see what happens next, but am too OCD to get the hardcover and have the series be mismatched on my shelves. So I pull up their inventory search...yep, the trade edition's been out for a couple of weeks, nope, this store didn't have it. OK, time to check all the other local stores...no luck. Not one single store in the region has it. Because I guess some bean-counter somewhere in corporate thought that a book by a multiply award-winning black author, latest in a praised and successful series full of great POC characters, just wasn't marketable enough to deserve shelf space...gosh, we all know there's no POC in DC, after all, and nobody reads vampire books these days, right? *headdesks*

DEAR BOOKSELLERS AND PUBLISHERS: it's a crazy thought, I know, but did you ever consider that books with POC characters on the covers might sell better IF YOU ACTUALLY PUT THEM OUT ON SHELVES WHERE PEOPLE CAN SEE THEM?

(And yes, surprise surprise, I first started reading this series because I stumbled across The Living Blood in a used bookstore and this cover just grabbed me and said "this is not going to be another paint-by-numbers cliched whitebread vamp book". Funny how that works...)

Barnes & Noble, to their credit, seem to be doing a little better here: they apparantly have the book in stock in a little more than half of their local stores, so I'll probably be running down to Metro Center to get it tomorrow night after the show.
chomiji
Aug. 10th, 2009 01:48 pm (UTC)

Borders is so centrally run that they seemingly have no way to respond to local demand. The White Flint area of Montgomery County is heavily Jewish, yet the Borders there has only a mediocre selection of Judaica, and it's tough to find Hanukkah music at that time of year. It does not surprise me at all that their DC stores are much weaker than they should be on African American authors and subject matter.

lady_ganesh
Aug. 8th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
IIRC, the cover Larbalestier liked in the first place was text-only. It's still bullshit but at least it's not a white girl.
chomiji
Aug. 10th, 2009 01:49 pm (UTC)

You've seen the latest? >sigh<

lady_ganesh
Aug. 11th, 2009 01:25 am (UTC)
Text-only cover sounds better and better, doesn't it?
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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