Shame by Pam Noles – an essay on colour in fantasy fiction

More evidence of the profound coolness that is the very wise Ursula Le Guin.

(and more evidence of my lack of HTML talent- still can’t work out to make links like the one below here, ‘live’)

The essay opens with this quote:

Ursula K. Le Guin said this:
“I have received letters that broke my heart, from adolescents of color in this country and in England, telling me that when they realized that Ged and the other Archipelagans in the Earthsea books are not white people, they felt included in the world of literary and movie fantasy for the first time.”
— Speech to the Book Expo America children’s literature breakfast, June, 4, 2004.

I’m mildly amazed, as a UK whitey who has been attempting to be ‘down with the race thang’* since the mid-80s, that this marvellous essay attracted a lot of flak from aggravated US white fantasy fans.

In another essay in reply

She quotes an aggrieved white commentator:

“But you have a tag called Die Whitey on the blog!” (Yeah…I hear it coming. People follow patterns.) “That’s racist! That’s exclusionary! That’s putting up a wall between you and me!!”

“No, dears. That’s FUNNY. There is a great and grand tradition of using the sheath of humor to make you comfortable before removing it to reveal the sharp edge designed to Wake You The Fuck Up.”

*down with the race thang, is also a joke.

Anyway go read it.


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