Posts Tagged“bicultural”

Cover Art from the 50th Anniversary Edition of "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Sarah J Coleman/Grand Central Publishing, used with permission

When I was little, I remember vividly when E.B. White died. I brought a newspaper article about his death to school to show my teacher, half-expecting we would talk about it as a class or have a moment of mourning. Then and now, authors who have touched my soul reside in a special place in my story-loving heart. One of these is the reclusive Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird, a novel that I read as a soft and impressionable but mature ten year old. It’s hard to capture in words all that this story meant to me.…

Diversity in KidLit 2012 Source: First Book, Art: Tina Kugler

In this last year especially, there’s been more discussion about the need for multiculturalism and diversity on the kids’ bookshelf than ever before (finally!) Although a lot of peers echo the sense that the time has come, sometimes I encounter people who ask why such a push is necessary. The kinds of questions I hear are: Isn’t reading at its core about a reader identifying with characters by transcending differences? Do stories need to be mirrors, do readers really need to have themselves reflected in stories? Aren’t we then saying that a reader can’t identify with a character who is…

Don Reilly/The New Yorker published on heidimkim.com with permission from Condé Nast Collection

  An astute beta-reader recently cautioned me to watch out for clichés. As with all feedback, I mulled over this for a bit and then went back to my manuscript. At that point, I was in that murky state of mind where I had reread the words so much that it seemed like every word needed to be changed. I became paranoid. Is this scene a cliché? How about this line? This phrase, this dialogue? What isn’t cliché? I had the unsettling realization that my cliché alarm was not as calibrated as it probably should be. As I was trying…

original art by Kirk Quilaquil, posted with permission

A while back I was having a conversation with a writer friend, Christina Fernandez-Morrow. Although she has always been a voracious reader, she was explaining to me that growing up, she wasn’t very interested in the fantasy genre. Christina explained that given the challenging circumstances of her young life in an urban inner city, the “upper-middle class lifestyle” depicted [in realistic fiction books like The Babysitter’s Club] was fantasy enough for me.” I consider myself bicultural. I am of two worlds, two cultures. I have my Korean culture, the culture of my parents, which largely influenced my upbringing, values, and sense of self.…