Friday News: James Patterson starts kid lit imprint; ACLU takes on gender in Hollywood; diversity in SFF; homage to Angela Carter
Little, Brown has big news to share with booksellers at BEA: the publisher is announcing the launch of James Patterson’s children’s book imprint, called jimmy patterson. The new line, which will include books written by Patterson as well as other authors, reflects some of Patterson’s most heartfelt goals: to inspire kids to become willing, self-propelled readers; to help teachers, booksellers, and librarians get the tools, opportunities, and skills they need to accomplish that mission; and to identify the right books for each child by publishing books that showcase a compelling diversity of human voices and experiences.
Patterson’s own profits from sales of jimmy patterson books will be put toward funding scholarships for teachers, supporting bookstores and school libraries, increasing the reach of the author’s website, ReadKiddoRead.com, and distributing books to children unable to afford them. Reagan Arthur, Little, Brown senior v-p and publisher, will oversee the imprint, which will have a dedicated staff of editors, marketers, public outreach and advocacy experts, and designers. –Publishers Weekly
“Women directors aren’t working on an even playing field and aren’t getting a fair opportunity to succeed,” said Melissa Goodman, director of the L.G.B.T., Gender and Reproductive Justice Project at the A.C.L.U. of Southern California. “Gender discrimination is illegal. And really Hollywood doesn’t get this free pass when it comes to civil rights and gender discrimination.”
Letters being sent to the commission, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs detail evidence of systemic “overt sex stereotyping and implicit bias.” If the agencies find instances of bias, legal charges could be filed. –Variety
Charles: To start things out, what do you think of the term “diversity” when it’s used in publishing? What does the word mean for you?
Zen: I think it’s just a bit of a shorthand — I find it quite weird to be described as a “diverse” author since the word surely refers to a rangeof backgrounds, perspectives, etc. So it’s about publishing as a whole — bringing a broader range of voices, experiences, points of view into the centre, focusing on them and equalising the position. I think Aliette makes a good point about “Western” or “international” Anglophone publishing vs. publishing that originates outside the US/UK. Something like We Need Diverse Books is clearly focused on injecting diversity into US publishing, but another way of doing it would be to have the works of publishers outside the US be easily available and promoted to readers in Western Anglophone countries. –The Book Smugglers & Strange Horizons
I found many of these stories, much later on. In the 1970s I was reading the Grimm Brothers and Perrault for the first time. I was a child and I read like a child, for pleasure and in order to figure out what the rules were, and what price you paid when you broke those rules. And again, as an adult, it seemed to me that I was breaking the rules by continuing to read and reread the things that pleased me best.
And pleasure is often subversive, Angela Carter teaches us. We are thrown off balance by delight, by terror, by beauty, by humor. And sometimes we dismiss the kind of work that evokes these responses in us, because it seems undignified, unserious, unadult. The rules above the stairs in Mr. Fox’s house tell the trespasser, “Be bold, be bold, but not too bold, lest that thy heart’s blood run cold.” But the girl goes up the stairs anyway. The girls and women in “The Bloody Chamber” remake the rules of their stories with their boldness. They know boldness is the point. –New York Times