Welcome to Diversity Spotlight Thursday, a feature recently created by Aimal @Bookshelves and Paperbacks to shed light on diverse literature. Each week we’ll be sharing three different books: one that I’ve read, one that I want to read, and an upcoming release. Check that link if you want to join us!
– A BOOK I HAVE READ –
Carol by Patricia Highsmith | LGBTQIA+
Therese is just an ordinary sales assistant working in a New York department store when a beautiful, alluring woman in her thirties walks up to her counter. Standing there, Therese is wholly unprepared for the first shock of love. Therese is an awkward nineteen-year-old with a job she hates and a boyfriend she doesn’t love; Carol is a sophisticated, bored suburban housewife in the throes of a divorce and a custody battle for her only daughter. As Therese becomes irresistibly drawn into Carol’s world, she soon realizes how much they both stand to lose…First published pseudonymously in 1952 as The Price of Salt, Carol is a hauntingly atmospheric love story set against the backdrop of fifties’ New York.
Therese and Carol are a fantastic couple. They’re both complex characters and their story was (and still is) groundbreaking for being such a positive representation. Although the film did it justice and was very faithful to the book, I would still recommend this to anyone who wants to know more about Therese.
– A BOOK ON MY TBR –
A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman | POC, disability, setting (India)
Padma Venkatraman’s inspiring story of a young girl’s struggle to regain her passion and find a new peace is told lyrically through verse that captures the beauty and mystery of India and the ancient bharatanatyam dance form. This is a stunning novel about spiritual awakening, the power of art, and above all, the courage and resilience of the human spirit.
Veda, a classical dance prodigy in India, lives and breathes dance—so when an accident leaves her a below-knee amputee, her dreams are shattered. For a girl who’s grown used to receiving applause for her dance prowess and flexibility, adjusting to a prosthetic leg is painful and humbling. But Veda refuses to let her disability rob her of her dreams, and she starts all over again, taking beginner classes with the youngest dancers. Then Veda meets Govinda, a young man who approaches dance as a spiritual pursuit. As their relationship deepens, Veda reconnects with the world around her, and begins to discover who she is and what dance truly means to her.
Set in India, it tells in verse the story of an amputee dancer. I found a great review by Jessica Walton, who is also an amputee, in which she says it’s a good representation. I find that very important because poor representation leads to misconceptions and stereotypes that we should avoid.
– AN UPCOMING RELEASE –
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst | LGBTQIA+
Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.
Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.
When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.
I think a lot of people are excited about this one and I can see why. It’s got queer princesses falling in love, a cool plot, and a gorgeous cover! Its release date is November 22nd, 2016.