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.

I 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, reading 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.


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