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[Warning: This compilation contains posts which may be image-heavy and not entirely accessible.]

[Screen cap of the Magic Under Glass book trailer.] [Image does not have alt text. It shows a drawing of the protagonist of the book, a brown-skinned young woman dressed in Victorian clothing next to a young male white character dressed in Victorian clothing.]

Elizabeth Bird @ School Library Journal : Review of the Day: The Mysterious Benedict Society (Part Two)
So I’m admiring the cover when I notice something. Maybe this got changed in subsequent printings of the book but if so they certainly haven’t changed it anywhere online. I am referring to the character of Sticky Washington. Sticky has dark skin in the book. Now look on the cover. It took me a while to figure out why I wasn’t seeing Sticky there. I was, but they’ve bleached him out. In short, they made Sticky white. What on earth?

[personal profile] bookshop: New Year's Resolution #7: Stop buying YA from Bloomsbury.
The cover of Magic Under Glass? It's been public since the Liar controversy. Bloomsbury was able to yank the original cover of Liar and change it 2 months before it went to press. They had over six months to do the same for Magic Under Glass. But it was a debut novel whose author didn't have a foothold in the publishing world that would allow her to protest, as Larbalestier did. Also, the reviewing blogosphere generally doesn't review books before they're published. So without the author to spearhead a call to action, there has been none over the whitewashing of Magic Under Glass, and Bloomsbury? Well, obviously, they weren't concerned.

Ah Yuan @ GAL Novelty : STOP FAILING BLOOMSBURY, aka The Bloomsbury Whitewashing Cover Legacy, Redux
It was like Bloomsbury's last minute change to the Liar cover was just a bandaid. Oh the blogging audience is protesting, we'll change the Liar cover so that they'll stop spreading the bad press! Surely there's no actual truth to the idea that whitewashing is a long, historical problematic practice in the publishing land that still continues to this day and we are only appeasing the crowd because we're benevolent like that!

Kristi @ The Story Siren: [Warning: Privilege] No, I am not a perfect person.
have to admit while I was reading, I kept flipping back to the cover and thinking... hmm that girl doesn’t really look like what I picture as Nim, as far as the book description goes. And then I would think, well I guess she does have dark hair, or maybe I just can’t see the color of her skin because of the lighting. The whole Liar cover controversy never crossed my mind. I never thought to be outraged about the cover. Does that mean I’m a bad person? Am I ignorant? Should I be reprimanded for not expressing outrage on my blog?

MissAttitude @ Reading In Color : An Open Letter to Bloomsbury Kids USA. Other Publishing Houses Take Note
Through blogging, especially after the Liar issue, I've learned that the author has no say in his or her cover. I think that is so wrong and should be corrected. Perhaps then you (and other publishing houses) wouldn't continuously anger people and create covers that look nothing like how the authors envisioned.

Editorial Anonymous @ Editorial Anonymous : New Year, New Season, Same Old WTF
Bloomsbury, something is wrong in your house. Something that makes you think your Caucasian readers (and no argument, they're the majority) wouldn't be interested in reading about anyone of another color. And something that makes you feel it's ok to make your minority readers feel marginalized; to make them feel that whatever they look like, they ought to be white.

Charlotte @ Charlotte's Library : The cover of Magic Under Glass
I thought it might be a useful contribution to the discussion to share exactly how Nimira is described, because most of the people talking about it haven't read the book. All the page numbers refer to the ARC. I tried to find every example, but may have missed some.

[ profile] caito @ [ profile] unfunnybusiness: Bloomsbury cover fail... again.
All that said... I wonder what excuse Bloomsbury will use this time. The main character of this book is described as far-eastern, and dark skinned. She is a "trouser girl" in this alternate Victorian England. Reading the book, I assumed that was a reference to traditional Thai styles of dress. Here's the cover.

[ profile] fabulousfrock: [Warning for Comments: Privilege] Magic Under Glass cover [NB: This is the author of the book.]
I just got back from a long weekend at a writing conference to learn about the cover controversy for Magic Under Glass. I have received several messages now asking me to talk about the issue, and I want to, but I am completely exhausted, between the conference (which was marked by a distinct lack of sleep) and my launch party on Tuesday, and this deserves a thoughtful reply. So please do bear with me!

Anna N. @ Jezebel : Magic Under Glass: The White-Washing of Young Adult Fiction Continues
But now Bloomsbury is publishing Jaclyn Dolamore's Magic Under Glass, a book about a "dark-skinned" girl from the "far East" — with the cover pictured above. As Book Smugglers points out, "the girl in the US covers is definitely white."

[personal profile] renay: Dear White YA Bloggers: ARG
Am I seeing this? Am I honestly seeing one of the most popular YA bloggers who is white, say "that's just how it is" and maintain that because it's hard (oh wow, not something HARD) to market to PoC (or any other minority group) we shouldn't demand change? That we shouldn't worry because covers never accurately depict the characters?

camile @ Color Online : TIC News: Bloomsbury Seeks Acquistions
When questioned about the proposed cover for Geisha a spokesperson replied that since Tom Cruise became the Last Samurai the restrictions of accurate representations have been in flux, and denied that Bloomsbury is guilty of the industry practice called whitewashing. More on this story as it develops.

Amy @ My Friend Amy: [Warning: Privilege]On Being Offended
I watched with interest as a new cover controversy came up this weekend. But I'm sorry to say things have not been as smooth sailing this time. I don't feel like the book blogging community has united. I'm watching instead, a bunch of fingers get pointed. "Why didn't you say something?" or "Why am I wrong for not noticing?" More than ever, we need to love each other. Change does not happen with loudly shouted words. It does not happen with boycotts. (sorry!) It doesn't happen when we turn a blind eye to a truth. It doesn't happen because we have the best most beautiful words to articulate our point.

Susan @ Black-Eyed Susan's: [Warning for Comments: Privilege]Celebrating MLK with A Protest
I am celebrating MLK in true form: I am protesting. I am calling for a boycott of Bloomsbury because of their continued whitewashing practice. ... He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.

[ profile] ellen_datlow: Another whitewash of a YA novel character's color
Please stop assuming that 1) no one (black or white) notices and 2) that we don’t care.

Neesha Meminger @ Cynical, Ornery, Sublime, Lush . . . : Yearning for Freedom; and Some News!
But I do LOVE that there are bloggers out there who see this issue as something that affects them, and are taking it on themselves, or as allies. Brava to you! The only thing that really irked me in the comments I read was the suggestion that those who are outraged about the cover should somehow be "nicer" in their outrage. Let me just point out that sometimes PoC, women, LGBTQ folks, the working class, and other people who've had their voices marginalized, get angry. When you're being battered on a daily basis, you're bound to get a little pissed.

Jane @ Dear Author : [Warning for Comments: Privilege] Is Bloomsbury Hanging Out the "Whites Only" Sign?
Last year, Bloomsbury published a book called Liar by Justine Larbalestier. The narrator of the story is Micah, a bi racial “nappy headed” tomboy. The first cover featured a white girl. After much controversy driven by the YA blogs, the cover was eventually changed. No real apology was issued by Bloomsbury. Now we know why. Bloomsbury doesn’t want dark skinned people on their covers. The recent Bloomsbury release, Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore, features a beautiful cover. The problem? The protagonist is “dark skinned”.

MissAttitude @ Reading In Color : Next Step: What Are We Going to Do? To Boycott or Not to Boycott
Now I know that people have strong feelings about this topic, "Yes boycott it's the only way to get things done!" or "No boycotting is mean and hurtful!". But hear me out. I want to start a dialogue for solutions. I just got home from school so I'm trying to catch up on emails/comments/twitter (no response from Bloomsbury yet, I will let you guys know if I get one). I'm going to list the pros and cons of boycotting Bloomsbury to help people understand why it's good AND bad. I'll also post my own suggestions. Then I want you guys to leave comments telling me what YOU are going to do and leaving the rest of the blogging community suggestions. I'll go through them and update this post constantly.

Justine Larbalestier @ Justine Larbalestier: Race & Representation
The one about race and representation. Sticking a white girl on the cover of a book about a brown girl is not merely inaccurate, it is part of a long history of marginalisaton and misrepresentation. Publisher don’t randomly pick white models. It happens within a context of racism.

JJ @ Uncreated Concience : Judge A Book By Its Cover
I’ve written before about my reaction to LIAR’s white-washed cover, as well my distaste for minority “problem novels”. My feelings are pretty clear: I’d like to see a novel with a protagonist who is incidentally a minority (either a person of color or queer). I want the protagonist’s narrative to be informed by but not defined by their minority status. I want his/her narrative to stand alone from the “minority experience”.

Kate Harding @ Salon : Publisher whitens another heroine of color"
So really, publishers, if you're so convinced that a book with a dark-skinned heroine won't sell unless readers are tricked into thinking she's white, then just be honest about all of it -- admit that you don't want to risk publishing books about characters of color. Admit that white people are the only audience you really care about. Admit that you don't give a tiny rat's ass about that adolescent girl walking through a bookstore, trying to find a story about someone who looks like her and learning --probably for the umpteenth time that day -- that only white people can be pretty or interesting. But if you're not ready to admit all that, then you need to be putting people of color on covers where appropriate and supporting those books with real publicity and marketing budgets, so they stand a chance of not fulfilling your prophecy of doom.

[ profile] shweta_narayan: An(other) open letter to Bloomsbury Kids USA
I am an adult of color, a writer and a voracious reader. I spend hundreds of dollars a year on YA books alone, since I'll buy multiple copies of good YA books as presents for younger friends and family members. I don't believe I'm the sort of customer you want to lose. And I am appalled at you. By pretending that people like myself don't exist, don't buy books, or will shut up and put up with your blatant, insulting whitewashing of covers, you are doing precisely that.

Aarti @ BookLust : For Discussion: Racism in Fantasy & Its Affects on People of Color
It's true and it's necessary. I grew up Indian in America, reading a lot of English fantasy novels involving tall, handsome, white heroes, dragons, wizards and feudal class systems. I also probably read a great deal like Abercrombie's, that pitted one race against another, with the Eurocentric race always the race of focus, the center of the story. Is this right? Why is it that I have such a fascination with British history but not so much with Indian history? Why is it that I love epic fantasy?

Lavie Tidhar @ The World SF News Blog : The Dragon and the Stars anthology Cover
The Dragon and the Stars, edited by Derwin Mak and Eric Choi, and featuring stories by ethnic Chinese writers from around the world – including Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore, Canada and the United States – is now available for pre-order on Amazon, published by DAW Books in May this year. Here is the recently-unveiled cover!

[ profile] jolantru: Nifty cover...
and it's the anthology for ethnic Chinese SFF writers... but should the dragon be an Oriental dragon?: Dragon - no?.

tansyrr @ : Cover Matters
This isn’t good enough. It really isn’t. Book covers are a form of advertising, yes, but that does not mean that moral choices should go out the window – especially when we are talking about products marketed at teenagers. There’s enough crap out there to make teenagers feel bad about themselves, without disguising the books for teens which do promote diversity in their text.

Karen @ Musings of a Novelista : Two Steps Backward
But to remain silent or to ignore it or to downplay it will not make it go away. To go forward, there has to be movement.

Scope Notes @ Scope Notes : Cover Controversy: Benedict Society Under Glass
The second controversy is about The Mysterious Benedict Society series, and has been bothering me for a while. A Fuse #8 Production pointed it out a while back, and a post this week at Bookshelves of Doom got me riled up again. The character Sticky Washington, described in the book as having brown skin, has appeared on the covers of the three Benedict titles as such:

Miss Julie @ Hi, Miss Julie! : divulging.
I’ve made this issue personal. My nephew is bi-racial, and I think he deserves, just as much as any other child, to see himself in the literature he reads (or, at this point, has read to him). Also, as a(n unpublished) writer, I think it is disrespectful to utterly disregard what an author has put into the content of the book when creating the packaging for the outside of it.

Doret @ TheHappyNappyBookseller : Dear Bloomsbury:
I can't promote or sell books by a publishing house that regularly enforces the idea that Brown isn't good enough. Bloomsbury, I won't help you profit while you willingly let teens of color doubt their self worth.

[ profile] handyhunter: on the subject of covers
Here's a cover of a Chinese SFF anthology with Maleficent* on the cover. Here's a fan-made cover with a Chinese/oriental dragon.

[ profile] charlesatan: January 20, 2010 Links and Plugs [note: linkspam post]
This week's controversy revolves around Bloomsbury's second white-washed YA cover. And a related controversy is an anthology that I'm part of...

Lavie Tidhar @ The World SF News Blog : Wednesday Editorial: On Book Covers
These things affect all writers. Just an an anecdotal instance, a South African friend of mine was asked to change his main character from South African to British because “the readers don’t want to buy stories featuring South African characters”. Which is reminiscent of John W. Campbell Jr. asking one of the writers for Astounding to change his name for the magazine because it was “too Jewish, and readers won’t pick up the magazine”. As Isaac Asimov pointed out in his memoirs, Campbell meant it was too Jewish for him. (Also features some AWESOME book covers featuring POC.

[ profile] unusualmusic: on the continuing coverfail
Yo. I keep seeing the excuse that well the publishers don't give the cover artists any info about the books protags. My question is...why not?

[ profile] jimhines: Covers Gone Crazy
So apparently this is the week for cover art kerfuffles.

[ profile] fabulous_frock: Magic Under Glass Cover [2] [Book's author once more]
I know some people are waiting for me to say something on the issue of my cover. I have thought long and hard about my thoughtful response, but the more I consider it, the more I think...

My writing is my voice. My stories are about accepting your fellow man or woman, about how love is the most powerful force in the universe. I do truly understand why some people are upset by my cover. However, Nimira is from a fictional land which is not meant to be a parallel to a specific country in our world. Her culture has elements, such as costume and music, that might be drawn from Eastern European, Asian and Roma cultures, and I love that readers are interpreting her look in different ways.

Bloomsbury Site for Magic Under Glass: [Announcement]
Bloomsbury is ceasing to supply copies of the US edition of Magic Under Glass. The jacket design has caused offense and we apologize for our mistake. Copies of the book with a new jacket design will be available shortly.

[ profile] fabulous_frock: Epilogue [Book's author once more]
I've been speaking with Bloomsbury and have learned that they will be doing a new jacket for Magic Under Glass, with a model who will more closely reflect my own design, as seen in the book trailer.

The Bloomsbury website now reflects this decision.

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(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 08:05 pm (UTC)
jimhines: (Rescued)
From: [personal profile] jimhines
Bloomsbury has pulled the cover, and they are working on a new version. Update from the author at

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 10:27 pm (UTC)
bookshop: illustrative art of a red-headed girl helming a steampunk airship, facing the wind, eyes closed. (Default)
From: [personal profile] bookshop

Thank you for compiling this.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 11:29 pm (UTC)
princessofgeeks: (bitch please by anadapta)
From: [personal profile] princessofgeeks
thank you for doing this.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-22 04:10 pm (UTC)
bell: rory gilmore running in the snow in a fancy dress (hold)
From: [personal profile] bell
Just want to say thanks to all the co-mods and all the people submitting links-- [community profile] linkspam has become a wonderful resource and I appreciate the work that goes into it. ♥


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