If you haven’t heard about Marley Dias, you have now. She has launched the #1000BlackGirlBooks book drive to collect one thousand books with black girls as the protagonists, which will be donated to a library in St. Mary, Jamaica. Did I mention that she’s eleven years old?
What’s more staggering: the fact that After, a 25-year-old Texan’s “erotic One Direction fan fiction,” has been “read” online more than 800 million times, or the fact that Simon & Schuster has decided to pay “a six figure advance” for its publication rights? Oh, and there’s more. Billboard reports that United Talent Agency is “shopping the film rights as well.”
“The peace may be holding, but the process is faltering,” writes Colum McCann, forty years after the Dublin/Monaghan bombings, in his evaluation of Ireland’s present relationship with the “Troubles.” “It is, of course, naïve to expect total reconciliation,” he continues. “Some grievances are so deep that the people who suffered them will never be satisfied. But the point is not satisfaction — the point is that the present is superior to the past, and it has to be cultivated as such.”
“The call isn’t for a literature to, as Ta-Nehisi Coates has described, stop people from hitting us. […] But for a multiplicity of presence. A mingling, if not an acceptance, of a duality of presence. The right to be average. For the black guys in our literary fiction, if nowhere else, to be given the benefit of the doubt.” Over at the Ploughshares blog, Bryan Washington makes a case for inclusion in literary fiction.