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Magic Under Glass

with 5 comments

the new, not-whitewashed, cover for Magic Under Glass

the new and improved cover: two figures, a taller man and a shorter woman, stand facing each other beneath a glass bell jar; behind the man is a piano; outside of the bell jar, pink flowers and petals are falling

Bloomsbury USA has done it again.
No, not found “the next Harry Potter,” unfortunately. No, Bloomsbury USA has, once again, whitewashed a book jacket. This is the second time within a year that this company has done this: first was with Liar, about a bi-racial girl with short hair who mysteriously turned into a long haired white girl on the cover of the book. Liar, thankfully, was fixed before the hardcover went to press, though advance reading copies featured the white model.

Magic Under Glass, however, was released in hardback with the white model. Some people have called for a boycott of Bloomsbury, while others are writing to the company to express their dissatisfaction, but avoiding the potential harm to the fledgling author’s career.

So, what to do? Bloomsbury has withdrawn the whitewashed cover, and a new design is in the works. So, while you may be dying to read what sounds like a really fun fantasy novel, I suggest holding back and waiting until the new & improved cover is available at a bookstore near you. Don’t buy the whitewashed cover, if it’s still available. Wait until the corrected version comes out, and then get you and everyone you know to buy it, so that Bloomsbury (and other publishing companies) will know that yes, people do buy and read books about people of color, so they can stop representing characters of color with white models.

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Written by Fangirl

January 24, 2010 at 1:00 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Do you know if other publishers do this too? I cannot remember their names, but I do recall several of the books I’ve read that had a cover featuring white people but the main characters (or at least the person on the cover) were not white.

    mvibes13

    January 26, 2010 at 12:34 am

    • I’m sure other publishers do, but I can’t think of any off the top of my head.

      Fangirl

      January 26, 2010 at 7:02 am

  2. Would love to see the new, non-white-washed cover.

    I don’t really see the colour of the people in the glass.

    I, too, would love to see and read more heroes and heroines of colour in my books. Whether they be fantasy, realistic … any genre.

    Recently I discovered a wonderful multicultural press through my Scribd adventures.

    Lee and Low Publishers: the blog

    Unknown Voices might be a start, especially as the winner of the contest told a story about a character from Haiti. The story is called Little Fish and is about Lisette participating in carnival. Watch out for it in May of this year.

    Adelaide Dupont

    January 26, 2010 at 4:39 am

    • I’m pretty sure the cover I’ve included in this post is the new cover; the original was a photograph of a white girl lifting a bell jar. I think the new one is a weird way for them to say “well, she’s not white” while also avoiding having to market it as “a book about a woman of color,” which is unfortunate, but at least a step up from an obviously white model.

      Also, thanks for the link. I’ll be sure to check it out.

      Fangirl

      January 26, 2010 at 7:02 am

      • After Anenome wrote her post for yesterday, she gave a link to RaceBenders, which is studying why many children think that black people and women cannot be President (of, say, the United States):

        RaceBenders

        And, yes, other publishers do do it.

        Little and Brown is mentioned for instance.

        Back in 2002 Torey Hayden talked about how she had to change the race of one person in her books. And Beautiful Child was delayed for a year or two in publication partly because of this and other editing issues.

        Adelaide Dupont

        January 30, 2010 at 3:25 am


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