Racist covers?

Read what Justin Larbalestier has to say about the cover of one of her YA books.

Readers in the USA have also complained to me that my character Blaze also suffered from whitewashing*, especially insulting to me as I am the mother of children who are not white, and I quite deliberately depicted a main female protagonist who was not either.

But authors often don’t get to choose.

* Actually, she is sort of vaguely dusky on the cover of The Aware (book1)
The woman on the cover of Gilfeather (book 2) is supposed to be the blonde, Flame – but she was drawn with two arms wielding a sword (ok, one of them is blue!), which is not remotely like the description of Flame…the woman never picks up a sword, for heaven’s sake. Quite apart from the fact that she loses an arm early on in the first novel. So a lot of readers think she is supposed to be Blaze.


Racist covers? — 4 Comments

  1. What do you think of her attire on the cover of The Aware?

    I do have to admit, based on the cover I probably would not have picked this up off the shelves. But luckily for me, my book group leader chose the book. We all found the cover a little lurid, but it was one of our favorite books that year. The group then unanimously voted to read the second and third books.

  2. Since I long ago worked out that book covers rarely have a relationship to the book I wouldn't have tried to work out who the character was. When a cover does turn out to actually connect with the book I'm pleasantly surprised. Really I don't think I pick up a book due to its cover art – in the sense of what it depicts. I'm more influenced by colour and form. If these please my eye I might choose them over one that is dull and nondescript.

  3. Covers heavily influence what I buy. I'm sorry Glenda, but there is no way I would have picked up the Russian version of The Tainted… The French version of The Aware however, I probably would have bought just for the cover art alone. Luckily the Australian covers are all pretty stylish.

  4. I guess we are all influenced by cover art in one way or another, but once I have picked up a book, its the synopsis or inside cover blurb that convinces me I want to read the book. As Imagine Me said, very rarely do covers depict what is in the book with any accuracy.

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