The Christian Science Monitor

After decades of dwarfs and elves, writers of color redefine fantasy

N.K. Jemisin, the first black writer to win the Hugo Award for best novel, packs a powerful idea into a few lines of dialogue in “The Fifth Season,” in which an otherworldly woman’s search for her daughter resonates with the emotions of African-Americans after the Civil War desperate to reunite families ravaged by slavery.

“There’s a hole, a gap,” Ms. Jemisin writes. “In history.”

History suffers when perspectives are left out, Jemisin points out. The same may be said of literature. After decades of dwarves, elves, and other Norse-based mythology, the world of fantasy is changing, incorporating the myths and legends of cultures around the world. 

While the field was largely dominated by white men in decades past, today diverse writers are bringing new voices to the

'Hopeful books in very dark times'Social media backlash, and support

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from The Christian Science Monitor

The Christian Science Monitor4 min read
Stopping Sexual Assault: Students Turn To Video Games To Empower Bystanders
Sexual assault and dating violence can seem like intractable problems. But recognition is growing about how people can make a difference, without waiting for an emergency.
The Christian Science Monitor6 min readPolitics
Behind Breakup Of Trump-Macron Bromance, A Deeper US-Europe Divide
As president, Donald Trump has gravitated toward personal and bilateral ties on the world stage. So a weekend of very visible clashes with French leader Emmanuel Macron is telling.
The Christian Science Monitor6 min readSociety
Behind The Surprising Surge Of Hope For US Criminal Justice Reform
Criminal justice reform is something people on the right and left agree is desperately needed but agreed was unlikely to happen. Suddenly, this week, advocates say they have hope again – and an unlikely champion.