Can PoC break into the publishing world?

So our class had to read Jazz. I tell you what, it was nice to finally read something that wasn’t written by some white dude. I feel that most of the literary canon is filled with mostly white, male authors, which means that students in school will never come into with books written by PoC or more female writers. Sure, there are a few female writers (JK Rowling, Harper Lee etc) that they will read, but what about Hilary Mantel, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, or Zadie Smith.

IĀ get the feeling that as a Person of Colour who wishes to be an author, it will be hard for me to break the publishing world. And I’m not exaggerating, because sadly this seems to be the reality. In 2012, in the NY Times Bestseller List, “only three out of the 124 authors who appeared on the list [were] People of Colour.” (Source)

To be fair, I am taking a Post-Colonial module in the next academic year, readingĀ Chinua Achebe and Salman Rushdie. But this is at university level, and in my last year at that. I wish that lower down in the education system, students had the chance to read authors from different ethnicities. No longer should younger students, who identify as a PoC, read novels by authors with whom they cannot relate. I can only hope the literary canon diversifies.

The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood

I read this as part of my uni’s reading list. I’ll be frank, I thought I was going to hate this book. I don’t know why, it was a gut feeling. However, after a class mate told me to stick with it, I can tell you that after reaching the first 100 pages, I fell in love with it. The roman a clef sticks out like a sore thumb, which is a good thing.

The book itself follows Iris Chase who remembers Laura’s death. Who is Laura? I hear you ask. Well if I told you that, it would ruin the book. Read it. Trust me. Steeped in twentieth-century history, Iris’s reminiscence unfolds life, innocent youth, and betrayal,. This is well worth a read.

As this book is also about regret, I want to leave you with a word of advice. If there is something that you feel passion for and want to do, don’t let anyone get in the way. Jump over the hurdles of life, and achieve your dream. Go out and do it.