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FoamyRules
02-02-2012, 02:34 AM
I noticed a lot of times agents and publishers who are seeking "multicultural fiction" they specify it as either being African American fiction and or Latino/Hispanic fiction.
When I think of multicultural fiction I think of it as a novel that has characters of many different ethnic backgrounds not just a story that features an all black cast or Latino cast, etc. Is that accurate or is it just me being weird? Anyway other thoughts on the matter?

escritora
02-02-2012, 02:44 AM
What they are requesting is that the main character be black or Hispanic and the rest can be a mix. That's my interpretation.

kuwisdelu
02-02-2012, 02:53 AM
Damn. I guess my half-Indian main character isn't multicultural enough.

FoamyRules
02-02-2012, 03:43 AM
I'm currently working on a manuscript that features a girl who is half black half Chinese and grew up in modern day China but moved to the states to attend college. She meets the other MC who is half Caucasian and half Hispanic and my beta told me to change to change my characters background into either being Caucasian, black, or Hispanic, so that it'll be more acceptable to agents. She told me the story is great, but the book may be hard to sale because my characters are of different mixed origins.

Zoombie
02-02-2012, 06:28 AM
Most of the fun of writing a novel that takes place after a period of unprecedented social movement, upheaval, warfare and intermixing of cultures is the weird mixes that have come out of it.

My favorite are the libertarian neo-hindu Hispanic/Caucasian terrorists from Texas.

Think that's multicultural enough?

missesdash
02-02-2012, 06:58 AM
I think the ones who specific african american or hispanic are just thinking from a marketing perspective, as they are the two largest minority groups in the US.

I write YA, so it might differ, but whenever I see multicultural, the agent definitely doesn't just mean black or hispanic. Just non-white. And even that's a toss up, since hispanics can be white. Seems like they're just looking for a nice balance between something different and foreign enough to not alienate POC, but not so out there that the market becomes very narrow.

It's tricky, I'd imagine.

FoamyRules
02-02-2012, 07:55 AM
I think the ones who specific african american or hispanic are just thinking from a marketing perspective, as they are the two largest minority groups in the US.

I write YA, so it might differ, but whenever I see multicultural, the agent definitely doesn't just mean black or hispanic. Just non-white. And even that's a toss up, since hispanics can be white. Seems like they're just looking for a nice balance between something different and foreign enough to not alienate POC, but not so out there that the market becomes very narrow.

It's tricky, I'd imagine.
Yeah, I write both YA and Adult books. The agents I researched that are looking for YA fiction and specify multicultural they do mean non white. I found a couple of agents who take adult fiction that meant the same thing.

Polenth
02-02-2012, 08:07 AM
I've never seen an agent say, "I want multicultural fiction - African American only please and no mixed race." If they like multicultural stuff, they're looking for a range of different cultural and racial groups. They're not going to be shocked and surprised that people with mixed origins exist.

Not everything betas say is true.

missesdash
02-02-2012, 09:57 AM
I'm currently working on a manuscript that features a girl who is half black half Chinese and grew up in modern day China but moved to the states to attend college. She meets the other MC who is half Caucasian and half Hispanic and my beta told me to change to change my characters background into either being Caucasian, black, or Hispanic, so that it'll be more acceptable to agents. She told me the story is great, but the book may be hard to sale because my characters are of different mixed origins.

Woah woah, I didn't even read this! Worst advice of the year and it's only February. Definitely ignore this silly person.

FoamyRules
02-02-2012, 12:01 PM
I've never seen an agent say, "I want multicultural fiction - African American only please and no mixed race." If they like multicultural stuff, they're looking for a range of different cultural and racial groups. They're not going to be shocked and surprised that people with mixed origins exist.

Not everything betas say is true.
That's exactly how I feel on the matter. When I research agents and they have multicultural fiction sometimes they'll specify African American, Hispanic, etc. and I interpret that the way escritoria does to meaning the MC has to be of that race. I would hope no one is shocked that there are mixed races out there because technically there is no such thing as a pure race.

FoamyRules
02-02-2012, 12:03 PM
Woah woah, I didn't even read this! Worst advice of the year and it's only February. Definitely ignore this silly person.
Well I told her I'm not changing my characters.

Purple Rose
02-02-2012, 12:47 PM
Woah woah, I didn't even read this! Worst advice of the year and it's only February. Definitely ignore this silly person.

Totally agree! 100%!

Kitty27
02-02-2012, 08:47 PM
I'm currently working on a manuscript that features a girl who is half black half Chinese and grew up in modern day China but moved to the states to attend college. She meets the other MC who is half Caucasian and half Hispanic and my beta told me to change to change my characters background into either being Caucasian, black, or Hispanic, so that it'll be more acceptable to agents. She told me the story is great, but the book may be hard to sale because my characters are of different mixed origins.

I have a similar story. One of my Betas suggested I lighten my character's skin or make her Biracial to be more "marketable" as a female Black character with dark brown skin might be "threatening" or not "acceptable" to AA readers. Don't ever do such a thing. There are also Biracial readers who want a character that resembles them and isn't written as a stereotype.


There aren't enough words to explain how I read her for filth.

The conditioning about skin color and hierarchy is STILL prevalent in the world,even in a community that suffered because of that very thinking.

escritora
02-02-2012, 09:11 PM
That's exactly how I feel on the matter. When I research agents and they have multicultural fiction sometimes they'll specify African American, Hispanic, etc. and I interpret that the way escritoria does to meaning the MC has to be of that race. I would hope no one is shocked that there are mixed races out there because technically there is no such thing as a pure race.

My bias showed in my first response. This is a habit I have to break. I consider a mixed black character black and a mixed Hispanic character Hispanic. (There's a lot wrong with this thinking, I know. I can poke holes in my theory, but it's a hard habit for me to break. I'm a work in progress.) So, for me, a mixed MC fits the agent's requirements.

FoamyRules
02-02-2012, 10:56 PM
My bias showed in my first response. This is a habit I have to break. I consider a mixed black character black and a mixed Hispanic character Hispanic. (There's a lot wrong with this thinking, I know. I can poke holes in my theory, but it's a hard habit for me to break. I'm a work in progress.) So, for me, a mixed MC fits the agent's requirements.
A lot of people do, so you're not the only one on that :p

FoamyRules
02-02-2012, 10:59 PM
I have a similar story. One of my Betas suggested I lighten my character's skin or make her Biracial to be more "marketable" as a female Black character with dark brown skin might be "threatening" or not "acceptable" to AA readers. Don't ever do such a thing. There are also Biracial readers who want a character that resembles them and isn't written as a stereotype.


There aren't enough words to explain how I read her for filth.

The conditioning about skin color and hierarchy is STILL prevalent in the world,even in a community that suffered because of that very thinking.
^This! I'm interracial have a biracial mother who is half black half Native American and my father is Caucasian. Not all biracial people have light skin, my skin is a light to medium brown, so not everyone looks the same. Colorism, to me, is a problem within any community. That and stereotypes.

Silver-Midnight
03-11-2012, 09:03 AM
Now that I think about it. I haven't really used a biracial character for any of my works so far. It's not really because I didn't want to; it just didn't happen. I might try to increase the diversity my heroines and heroes even more.

Personally, I think multicultural covers any and every culture, kind of like interracial covers any pairing or relationship that isn't characters of the same race.

Marya
03-11-2012, 10:06 AM
When I hear the term 'multicultural' used of a novel, I don't think of characters so much as context and it is a problematic term. If you read the Zimbabwean writer Brian Chikwava's Harare North about immigrant experiences in London, he describes a Britain that is no multicultural ideal and worlds away from the affluent but troubled milieu of Zadie Smith's White Teeth or On Beauty. Or the historical fiction of Andrea Levy (Small Island) looking back at the struggles of the Windigo generation. Dynamics of the African diaspora.

It isn't just about the racial makeup of the characters, though of course that is important, such a novel has to work against a social background of prejudice and privileges. In the black American context, there's the writing of Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns or Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts’ Harlem is Nowhere looking back to the tradition established by Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Terry McMillan etc..