Sponsored by The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke.
After the releases of Crazy Rich Asians, Searching, and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) declared that we’re in the middle of a “barrier-breaking phenomenon dubbed #AsianAugust.” But it’s not just August. We’re experiencing a cultural shift where gatekeepers in publishing and Hollywood are realizing that there’s value in telling inclusive stories about Asian and Asian American communities.
The UK’s oldest prize for children’s literature, the Carnegie medal, has promised long-term change following a review of its lack of diversity, which one respondent said stemmed from the fact that “literature in the UK is an unapologetic bastion of white privilege”.
The independent diversity review was prompted by outrage at the all-white, 20-author longlist for the 2017 Carnegie. The prize was established in 1935 but has never been won by a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) writer.
And Ferrera has a lot to say, particularly about code switching — how she shifted the way she expressed herself to suit her surroundings. “Let me put on my best assimilated, educated, American-girl voice because that’s the way that I’ll be accepted in this room,” says Ferrera. “[Then] let me put on my most Latina voice and attitude so I’m good enough for this crowd.”