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Questions/Ideas/Ask the Mods > 3/3 American Authors

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message 1: by Elena (new)

Elena | 3 comments I would like to start by saying how much I like this book club and the effort Emma is doing at being inclusive and diverse in her selections.
However, I couldn't help but notice that all three first books are from american authors.

I am currently reading "My Life on the Road" and absolutely enjoying it. A lot of the themes she writes about are universal, though there are as many that are specific of american culture. While I find it very interesting and I'm learning a lot, I think it's neccesary that this book club features authors with different nationalities, since its members come from all over the world, as well.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree with your statement. I didn't even realise all authors were American until you mentioned this in another thread.

message 3: by Anita (new)

Anita | 87 comments I commend Emma for her choice of books thus far. I am waiting for my copy of this book to arrive and am excited to read it. Having said that, it would be nice to read works from authors outside of the US particularly given the diverse representation of this group. Something to think about for April?

message 4: by Ana, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Ana PF | 746 comments Mod
There's actually been more than a couple of members voicing such concerns, I seem to remember, and I do believe they're legitimate ones. All I can say is, being only three months into it I guess that it's just been a coincidence that all of our authors came from there, what with their texts being so very important and relevant to the cause and what not. I certainly hope myself to see other authors featured in our list, and it is something that we will make sure to adequately address when it's time for Emma to pick the next books! :)

message 5: by Parnian (new)

Parnian | 68 comments I agree. I'm out of Canada. I'd love to learn what's going on with women's rights elsewhere in the world but I feel like american authors dominate the discussion. On a different but related topic, Facebook has introduced a feature that translates comments in say.. Spanish or Portuguese into English so I understand what my friends are posting! I'd love to see that in this group. It seems a pity we don't get to learn the thoughts of feminists from elsewhere in the world.

message 6: by Katelyn, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (last edited Mar 03, 2016 08:23AM) (new)

Katelyn (katelynrh) | 836 comments Mod
I echo the comments from the other moderators. We're currently juggling so many issues, including diversifying the texts and availability of copies, and so I promise that this is all being taken into consideration. We're only three months old, we will certainly live and learn!

I'm going to move this to the Helpful Resources/Group Ideas folder, as it is more of a general request. Let's keep the monthly book folders focused on discussion of the books :)

message 7: by Justine (last edited Mar 03, 2016 10:09AM) (new)

Justine | 40 comments I had the same thought when I saw the announcement for this month's book. And it's funny because we actually talked about it during the January meeting in Paris. It was our concern that the authors would only be Americans and therefore it would not only raise issues that the US are facing but also unveil solutions only the US could apply.

I am really glad I read the first 2 books, they are absolutely relevant here, and I am as excited to read bell hooks. I am sure the inspiration they provide can translate to many cultures, if not "word by word" but they are not the only one who can do it and the world is enough americentrist as it is.

I get that the members write in English, Emma Watson and the moderators are all English native speakers (if I'm not mistaken) so it looks easier to choose a book written in English. It allows Emma Watson to conduct interviews with/being interviewed by the authors too, I suppose.

But what I really like in this book club is the incredible number of members and the variety of their nationalities. All the threads in the category "Feminism in - Country here" are incredibly absorbing. The HeForShe movement is a global one and part of an international organisation. I hope the next choices will reflect that, so I am glad to see that your answers, Katelyn, Kodak, Ana, go in the same direction. :)

Gloria travelled to Asia, Nettie to Africa... maybe this book club should take the road a little bit too ;)

message 8: by Annette (new)

Annette mathews (annettesara) | 21 comments Whoa !! I didn't realize it till now !! Good observation .

well, its not a big problem . I am happy with whatever she chooses. Given her tight schedule , its a miracle that she comes and interacts with us .
I wish she comes more often in Good Reads though .

message 9: by Kressel (last edited Mar 03, 2016 11:02AM) (new)

Kressel Housman | 436 comments Justine wrote: "Gloria travelled to Asia, Nettie to Africa... maybe this book club should take the road a little bit too ;)"

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang has been on my to-read list for a long time. It was adapted into a play that starred Katie Leung (Cho Chang).

message 10: by Katelyn, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Katelyn (katelynrh) | 836 comments Mod
Kressel, add it to the bookshelf if it's not already there: How to Suggest a Book

message 11: by Kressel (new)

Kressel Housman | 436 comments Katelyn wrote: "Kressel, add it to the bookshelf if it's not already there: How to Suggest a Book"

I guess someone did it because it appeared faded out when I did a search from the "add" box.

message 12: by Justine (new)

Justine | 40 comments Kodak wrote: "Justine wrote: "I had the same thought when I saw the announcement for this month's book. And it's funny because we actually talked about it during the January meeting in Paris. It was our concern ..."
Oh yes, that's true! Sorry!

message 13: by Sandy Bergeson (new)

Sandy Bergeson I noticed the American author trend as well and am trying to step out of the "American Exceptionalist" mode to become a better global citizen. And if we feminists can't do it, then who can???? But I understand the complicated issues of starting a group of this magnitude and appreciate that you all are aware and addressing it...

message 14: by Ana, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Ana PF | 746 comments Mod
Hehe, thanks for thinking we were all native! Took me a while to properly blend in the crowd... :D

message 15: by Kayse (last edited Mar 08, 2016 04:08PM) (new)

Kayse Maass | 9 comments I also am very interested in reading about feminism from perspectives of people around the world. While I know there are books by many non-American authors on the Shared Shelf Bookshelf, Goodreads unfortunately doesn't let us "tag" or indicate which country each book relates to. To help me organize books by country, I've started a Google Sheets list where I am keeping track of authors/books related to feminism around the world. Please add some that you know about or that have been listed here!

A direct link to the book list is:

Related Goodreads group:

message 16: by Sofie (new)

Sofie | 3 comments I agree! The debate is a bit different in different parts of the world and I would love to read more African, European, Asian or South American authors as well. There are so many more aspects to take in if the authors have different experiences. Looking forward to the next books (which I hope are written by authors from all over the world)

message 17: by Aglaea (new)

Aglaea | 987 comments Kayse wrote: "Goodreads unfortunately doesn't let us "tag" or indicate which country each book relates to"

Do you know why this is?

I know they reacted to people having tagged male/female etc. too, but it seems like local tags are used, though, for instance like with this one I recently put on my TBR feminism & sex-and-gender shelves:
Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
Under the Udala Trees

This one's been tagged Cultural > Africa quite a few times.

message 18: by Tania (new)

Tania Ramonde (taniaramonde) | 8 comments I definitely agree with all of you on this. I'm Spanish, and I'd really like this group to read some European authors.

How about Simone de Beauvoir? Some of her texts bring an awesome insight to feminism :)

message 19: by Nicole (new)

Nicole McMahon | 1 comments I think when it comes down to brass tax here we are simply arguing semantics. Yes I am American, No I do not believe that simply being American makes you any "better" than anyone else, or any better of an author for that matter. I think it is important for us to remember why we came together in the first place, to support each other and support the feminist movement. Rather than choosing to see what separates us, we need to remember what unites us and stand together in solidarity. I do believe that there should be a diverse representation of women from every corner of our planet, I do not believe that the fact that all of the first authors are "American" was in anyway intentional in an exclusionary way. After all what does it really mean to be "American", if we go back just a few generations we come from all over the world with the exception of Native Americans who were already here. Like the old saying says, a house divided against itself cannot stand. The world already divides us enough than to ourselves divide even further. Let us turn our focus back to what is most important. I am not saying that we all need to agree 100% of the time, and I am not saying that we should not be on the look out for any wrong doing or be afraid to speak up when this occurs. I suppose I am simply saying that we should remember that we are all in this together and we have only just begun.

message 20: by Marina (new)

Marina | 314 comments https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/... international books topic

message 21: by Marina (new)

Marina | 314 comments I mostly don't like the focus on American books because they already get a lot of attention, so that's wasting an opportunity to show how women's experience is different around the world

message 22: by Alexis (new)

Alexis Marie | 200 comments There are tons of early feminist British authors! The Brontë sisters and Jane Austen are fantastic. There is also Virginia Woolf.

message 23: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 149 comments Like many here, I don't know how the books are chosen. If it's Emma choosing them, I really doubt she's doing so out of a sense of Americanism as she is not American. The simplest answer is that she is choosing books that she wants to read. If many people do see this as a problem, I think the best solution would be to have two reading choices for the month. One chosen by Emma and one by group.

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