I’m taking the Tempest Challenge.
I was somewhere in the middle of the third book I read this year when I heard of it, and I realised that all my reading so far was books by women, and so why not?
The idea of the challenge, in case you haven’t clicked through, is to:
take One Year off from reading fiction by straight, white, cisgender male authors and instead read fiction by authors who come from minority or marginalized groups. This includes women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ authors along with a wide variety of other marginalized identities from which to create a reading list: people with disabilities; poor and working class authors; writers with non-Christian religious or spiritual beliefs; and for Americans, even reading books in translation by authors of any background will open up new viewpoints.
Which, when you list as many categories of author as that, sounds pretty easy. And so it is.
So far, as you’ll have seen from my published notes to date, I’ve just read books by women. No trouble there. I’m currently reading Wild Seed by Octavia E Butler, which also adds African-American to the mix.
The only problem — and it is, let’s face it, a very minor one — is when I see a book on my shelves that I think, “Oh, I must read that;” and then I think, “but not this year.” (Though it occurs that if I were to take “writers with non-Christian religious or spiritual beliefs” at face value, then I could, for example, carry on my Iain Banks re-read; but such writers — atheist writers, at least — are far from marginalised in Britain. And it wouldn’t really be in the spirit.)
I’m making two exceptions: one is a book I started last year, about the music scene in New York in the 70s. It’s important preparation for our trip to New York in the summer, so I intend to finish that.
The other is if Robert Galbraith has a new book out this year. :-) And in getting that link I discover that it’s due out in the autumn, which is pleasing to hear.
Apparently some people are offended by the very existence of this kind of challenge. Mostly straight white men, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear. It’s “censorship”, apparently. I mean, what?
You’ll read all about my reading adventures here.