Willard Library celebrates all voices, cultures, and sexual orientations. Because of this, we have created mini-displays highlighting #OwnVoices authors in our collection.
If you are unfamiliar with the #OwnVoices movement, it's a movement started by Corinne Duyvis, who first began using the hashtag on Twitter in 2015 to bring attention to books featuring diverse characters written by authors of that culture and ethnicity.
For example, a Chinese-American author writing about Chinese-American life with a Chinese-American character, a Latinx immigrant writing a story about a Latinx immigrant, or an LGBTQ+ writer writing about LGBTQ+ characters.
Since its inception, the movement has taken off to encompass adult fiction and literature as well as children's fiction.
Mini-displays can be found Downtown on the Second Floor at the beginning of each Adult Fiction aisle. Below are a few #OwnVoices books on display:
- "Where We Come From" by Oscar Cásares (#OwnVoices Latin America)
- Brownsville, a small town along the U.S.-Mexican border, straddles the dangerous world of drug cartels and trigger-happy border patrol agents. To its residents, this is simply home. After being forced to spend the summer at his godmother's house in Brownsville, 12-year-old Orly is submerged into her deteriorating world and dangerous secrets. Cásares tackles human trafficking, U.S. immigration policy, and family history in this deeply intimate novel about how compassion and understanding can set us free.
- "Freshwater" by Akwaeke Emezi (#OwnVoices Africa)
- Ada is a young Southern Nigerian woman who is not quite "normal." She was born with a multitude of gods and goddesses within her that morph her into something more than human, something out of control. As Ada moves to America in her adulthood, she encounters dangers and abuse that have these entities breaking free and threatening to control her every move in this new land. Steeped in Nigerian folklore, Freshwater is about relationships (spiritual and physical), self-acceptance, and identity in a new land.
- "For Today I Am A Boy" by Kim Fu (#OwnVoices LGBTQ+)
- Peter Huang is "powerful king," a name given to him by his father who longed for a son amid a sea of daughters. With this moniker and his father's pride in finally having a son, Peter feels laden by the burden to be the perfect son as well as burdened by his most intimate secret: He was not a boy at all, but a girl. With the help of his sisters, Peter moves closer to being the person he always known he was.
- "Selection Day" by Aravind Adiga (#OwnVoices Asia)
- "Selection Day" tells the tale of 14-year-old Manjunath Kumar and his older brother, Radha, living in the slums of Mumbai. The pair enjoys playing cricket, but when their cricket-obsessed father sees an opportunity to get out of the slums, he forces the boys into the sporting world, challenging all that they are and who they should be. "Selection Day" also can be found as a Netflix Original Series.
- "Where the Dead Sit Talking" by Brandon Hobson (#OwnVoices Indigenous Peoples)
- Hobson, a member of the Cherokee Nation Tribe, paints a picture of rural Oklahoma where two indigenous teens bond over their shared heritage and scars while navigating the foster-care system.
These displays change frequently to highlight more #OwnVoices authors in our collection. Be sure to stay tuned!
Jade is reading "Queen of Blood" by Sarah Beth Durst.