Thoughtful Thursday – Literary Segregation

Photo courtesy of Microsoft Word Clip ArtLast year I conducted a poll on multicultural fiction. I had a number of published authors (about 40) from diverse backgrounds offer their opinions on the state of mutlicultural fiction in publishing.

One of the topics on which I polled authors was Literary Segregation, namely, the practice of shelving books based on the author’s ethnicity or race or on the content of the book. This is something that happens in a number of book stores. I can’t speak as to whether it happens at many libraries as in general, I have not seen it done in my local libraries, but if you are aware of the practice at such locations, please chime in.

The vast majority of the writers were not in favor of this practice. Many felt that it reduced their sales and limited their opportunities for cultivating new readers who were not multicultural. During a recent discussion at the RWA National Conference, this issue arose once more and the consensus of the group that participated was again that this practice hurt diversity authors.

What do you think about this kind of segregation? Do you go to such sections in bookstores and/or libraries?

There seem to be many bookstores with African-American sections. Do you see similar sections for Latino books?

Inquiring minds want to know!