Don’t wish for tomorrow.
You’re wishing your life away.
Nevertheless, I wish
for tomorrow. In all its finery.
I want sleep to come and go, smoothly.
Like passing out of the door of one car
Into another. And then to wake up!
Find tomorrow in my bedroom.
I’m more tired now than I can say.
Raymond Carver, Tomorrow
This is Charlotte Brontë’s earliest known effort at writing, a short story written for her sister Anne, the baby of the family. It it also the first of the little books made by the Brontë children and, as such, it does not reach the level of technical sophistication that they were later to achieve. The writing is a clumsy longhand, there is no title page or contents list and no attempt is made to imitate magazine format.
The Original Manuscripts
Tea Weather. La-Chapeliere-Folle, deviantART.
“Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside; candles at four o’clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without.” ~ Thomas De Quincey
Attanya: #WeNeedDiverseBooks because I love science fiction and fantasy books, but I’m tired of authors treating dragons and robots and magic as more plausible than black and brown characters
Jennifer: #WeNeedDiverseBooks because… when I was 13 a white girl told me it was selfishthat all of the protagonists in my stories were Latina because she “just can’t relate to nonwhite characters.” She made me feel guilty for writing about people like me.
Aiesha: #WeNeedDiverseBooks because…Black Girls are more than sidekicks or “sassy, ghetto friend”
Facts and Figures About Race/Ethnicity in YA and Children’s Lit:
- 88% of the books on the 2013 Publisher’s Weekly YA Bestsellers were about white protagonists
- 93% of the authors on the 2013 Publisher’s Weekly YA Bestsellers were white authors
- 85% of the books on the 2014 Young Adult Library Services Association’s Best Fiction for Young Adults list were about white protagonists
- 90% of the authors on the 2014 Young Adult Library Services Association’s Best Fiction for Young Adults list were white authors
- 91% of the authors on the 2013 New York Times’s Bestseller Lists for YA and Children’s Lit were white authors.
- According to the 2012 Cooperative Children’s Book Center, only 3.3% of books were about African-American protagonists; only 2.1% were about Asian and Pacific Islander protagonists; only 1.5% were about Latinx protagonists; and only 0.6% were about Native American protagonists. That means over 90% of children’s books surveyed were about white protagonists.
Just a reminder that representation is still an uphill battle.
Not that she objected to solitude. Quite the contrary. She had books, thank Heaven, quantities of books. All sorts of books.
My wonderful Folio Society edition of The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie. Can’t praise it enough, it’s lovely.
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Reading the spines, diving into worlds, learning with every heartbreak and shout of triumph, and climbing the stairs out of the underworld back into the light of the world: every book we read is helping us become who we need to be.