This is an interesting interview with Carleen Brice. (Black Female Author of Mainstream/Literary)
I would love to see books treated as books. So if a book is women’s fiction, I’d love to see it marketed broadly to women, not only black women. What tends to happen is that my books and books like mine have to become popular with black audiences and then cross over. And it’s maddening! It’s maddening to see a book like The Help get marketed to all readers and a book like The Air Between Us get lost in the shuffle. Similar subject matter. One author is white; one is black. Is that the reason why one took off and one didn’t…? Probably not the only reason, but it’s hard to believe it’s not part of the reason. I’d love to see L.A. Banks’ vampire books shoot up the bestseller lists like Charlaine Harris’ books. I’d like to see HBO or some other channel turn them into a series like True Blood.
I’d love to see a white writer called “the new Pearl Cleage” or “the new Attica Locke” instead of always vice versa. I’d love to see book reviewers compare books by genre and subject matter instead of by authors’ ethnicity.
Now, I honestly couldn’t tell you the race of most of the authors I pick up. (A good bet is white male. I say this as a white female.) I decided to take a stroll through the 50 books she recommends. I’d love to say they all looked great, but they didn’t. Problem is, I just don’t read mainstream lit. I want genre books. So, if someone were to round up say 50 SciFi books by American Minority Authors, it might be more helpful to me.
Personal rec on this theme : The Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker
Still the following did peak my interest. (At least so far as I’m putting it onto my books to read list. Which these days means from the library.)
Big Machine By Victor Lavalle