Excellent and informative.
I’d been looking forward to this release. It delivered.
I didn’t know about Ms. Green. Until reading The Vanishing Half, I hadn’t thought much about “passing” either. So this book taught me about a remarkable woman, who curated and, in a wholly man’s world, acquired JP Morgan’s vast personal library holdings. And it taught me about a different country, a country I’ve begun learning much more about, in which the “land of the free” didn’t apply to BlPOC or women. As much as this breaks my heart, I know it’s not a truth we can continue to ignore. Each story like this that I read helps me understand more and more how much there is to learn.
Bravo to Marie Benedict for pursuing this story and for recognizing she could not solely do it the justice it deserved. Kudos to Victoria Christopher Murray for bringing so much more to the story. More, more!
Of further interest, I finished this just before reviewing a new Hot Sheet by Jane Friedman, which included the results of a very informative racism story of BIPOC in publishing. It not only told the survey results, it explained what intended and unintended acts created racist tensions. It explained what bystander racism feels like to the person of color, as well as what daily acts of microaggressions are and do to anyone who isn’t white and is still working hard to “pass” in our white controlled society. It is very much worth the read and study, for it also provides calls for actions and provides “how to” steps.
Racism is very much on the publishing brain, an industry that prides itself on being progressive. Indeed, traditional publishing, as much as it acts as gatekeepers, decides which books to not only print but to provide (or not provide) staggering marketing dollars. And Black historical fiction is currently paying dividends—for good reason! In a post George Floyd world, readers are hungry for solid books that gives them more understanding of how we got here, for knowledge is power.
The good news is, there’s more great books to read, already published and on the horizon. I hope It’s an area that’s here to stay, it is vitally necessary. so I hope you’ll buy these books and talk about them.
Here is a link to an already curated list, some of which I’ve read and love, some I’ve preordered, and some on my TBR.