Critical Linking

Come For the Pirate Queens Stay for the History: Critical Linking, May 26, 2020

Jamie Canaves

Contributing Editor

Jamie Canavés is the Tailored Book Recommendations coordinator and Unusual Suspects mystery newsletter writer–in case you’re wondering what you do with a Liberal Arts degree. She’s never met a beach she didn’t like, always says yes to dessert, loves ‘80s nostalgia, all forms of entertainment, and can hold a conversation using only gifs. You can definitely talk books with her on Litsy and Goodreads. Depending on social media’s stability maybe also Twitter and Bluesky.

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“In this episode of History Becomes Her, we learn about some of the fascinating women who changed the course of history but didn’t get a mention in the books we read at school. You’ll learn about U.S.-based peace activist Concepción Picciotto, Chinese pirate leader Ching Shih, and the Mirabal Sisters, who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. You’ll hear the story of Mary Ann McCracken, a Belfast-born social reformer who championed female equality and campaigned against slavery.”

Had my full attention at Pirate Queens.

“What does a steady increase look like when we talk about trans YA, though? It means one or sometimes two more books than were published the year before. 2021 is the first year in which the number of YA novels by and about trans people published in a single year will break ten. In contrast, the number of YA novels about cis queer protagonists published each year is much higher. In 2018, for example, Malinda Lo’s annual count of LGBTQ YA recorded 56 books about cis queer girls alone. The number of 2018 YA novels by and about trans people of any gender, according to my masterlist?


Today’s must-read article takes a look at trans representation in YA.

“Asian Americans inhabit a purgatorial status: neither white enough nor black enough, unmentioned in most conversations about racial identity,” Cathy Park Hong writes in her book of poetry Minor Feelings.

Adding, “In the popular imagination, Asian Americans are all high-achieving professionals. But in reality, this is the most economically divided group in the country, a tenuous alliance of people with roots from South Asia to East Asia to the Pacific Islands, from tech millionaires to service industry laborers. How do we speak honestly about the Asian American condition—if such a thing exists?”

Maybe, through literature. Check out 13 page-turners by Asian and Pacific Islander American authors.

Add all unread to TBR.