|The iconic image of YA 'whitewashing': Liar by Justine Larbalestier|
"Since I’ve told publishing friends how upset I am with my Liar cover, I have been hearing anecdotes from every single house about how hard it is to push through covers with people of colour on them. Editors have told me that their sales departments say black covers don’t sell. Sales reps have told me that many of their accounts won’t take books with black covers. Booksellers have told me that they can’t give away YAs with black covers. Authors have told me that their books with black covers are frequently not shelved in the same part of the library as other YA—they’re exiled to the Urban Fiction section—and many bookshops simply don’t stock them at all."This is what Justine Larbalestier, the author of psychology thriller Liar, said about the whitewashing of her novel cover. Due to requests from Larbalestier and readers, it was eventually changed to one depicting an African-American girl which better reflects the nationality of the story's protagonist, but still the question remains--why did this happen at all?
|Larbalestier and Brennan's recent novel, Team Human, depicting an Asian model on the cover|
- Caucasian persons--72.4%
- Latino/Hispanic persons--16.3%
- African-American persons--12.6%
- Asian persons--4.8%
- Caucasian persons--90%
- Latino/Hispanic persons--14%
- African-American persons--1.2%
- Asian persons--1.4%
|Image taken from Kate Hart's post|
I understand, completely understand, that stories with Caucasian protagonists would have Caucasian models on the front covers. It just makes sense. But what about stories with Asian main characters? What happens to them?
Julie Kagawa's The Immortal Rules is the perfect example. While I loved the story, as I talk about in my review, why is Alison Sekemoto, a girl of Asian descent, portrayed by a white person on the cover? Because it will sell better, even though the practice of doing this is racist and, more importantly, morally wrong?
|The features are undeniably Caucasian|
I acknowledge that these opinions are coming from an Australian Caucasian teenager and I accept that there are many, many people who have different ideas.
I acknowledge that publishers do what they need to do for money and a living.
I acknowledge that we must be tolerant of each other, and the diversity is what makes humans so fascinating and different.
I acknowledge that Caucasians, as a race, have committed morally unjust acts in the past and present.
I acknowledge that this post is not only about the 'whitewashing' of YA covers but a reflection of racism and the human race as a whole.
Opinions? Please feel free to discuss below.