Hi friends! I’m here today with a post to discuss the importance of OwnVoices authors and reviewers! To begin, i am NOT an expert. Possibly the only thing I’m an expert in is the art of eating far too much junk food. However, I’ve noticed so much difference when an OwnVoices author writes a book, OwnVoices reviewers read it and share their thoughts, as compared to those who can’t actually relate on a personal level.
why is ownvoices important?
- ACCURATE REPRESENTATION. For example, no matter how detailed my research, I cannot write a disabled character as well as someone who is either disabled or a caretaker of a disabled person. It would be far too easy for me to lean into stereotypes. However, OwnVoices authors understand the layers of culture and identity that the rest of us simply can’t. OwnVoices reviewers have the opportunity to see themselves in a story, and gauge how accurate the representation is.
- Education! As someone who is unfamiliar with so very many cultures and people, I would much rather read books accepted by the audience they were written for. Then, I know that I’ll be learning the right things. A person of non-Mexican descent will not have the same knowledge that someone who is Mexican will have, and so the book might end up falling into the trap of stereotypes.
- People can see themselves as actual human beings. Honestly, how many people have never seen themselves as the main character in a book, worthy of great things, worthy of love? We need to support OwnVoices authors with the same passion as authors like Sarah J. Maas, and put their books in the hand of OwnVoices readers.
A quick note: In my personal experience, I’ve found that stories with biracial individuals, especially ones coming from OwnVoices authors, are extremely rare. I can’t fully identify with either a black or a white main character, yet I’ve hardly found a book that contains a biracial protagonist for me personally to relate with. And I know that so, so many people also struggle with this problem, being two or more races, and never seeing themselves.
some great ownvoices books you should read!!
Obviously, I need to make a personal effort to read more OwnVoices books. These are all ones I’ve read and either adored or appreciated, but please please please leave your own recs down below! Im considering making a post where I go into detail about some OwnVoices books I’ve read, but we’ll see!
That’s it! Let’s continue this conversation in the comments below! Share your thoughts!