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 Monitor5 min readPolitics
E. Jean Carroll: She Said, He Said, And How Media Weighs Balance
Why didn't The New York Times and other media outlets give E. Jean Carroll sexual assault charges against Trump bigger play?
The Christian Science Monitor2 min read
Iran’s Voices That May Drive Peace With The U.S.
In the U.S.-Iran showdown, those in the U.S. advocating restraint are obvious. In Iran, less so. But it may be women, chafing at social bans, who give the regime pause.
The Christian Science Monitor2 min read
Iran’s Voices That May Drive Peace With The U.S.
In the U.S.-Iran showdown, those in the U.S. advocating restraint are obvious. In Iran, less so. But it may be women, chafing at social bans, who give the regime pause.