diversity spotlight thursday

Created by Aimal, you can check out the rules here. Basically, every week you list:

  1. A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
  2. A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
  3. A diverse book that has not yet been released

If you check out my Diversity Spotlight Thursday tag on the right, you can see my other Diversity Spotlight Thursdays! This week (as I like to theme my weeks) I’m going to be talking about short stories, because I absolutely adore them. They’re perfect for reading in bits, or for reading in one huge gulp. I also love how they really allow an author to show off all the incredible things they can do with their writing.



Fairytales For Lost Children is narrated by people constantly on the verge of self-revelation. These characters – young, gay and lesbian Somalis – must navigate the complexities of family, identity and the immigrant experience as they tumble towards freedom.

Using a unique idiom rooted in hip-hop, graphic illustrations, Arabic calligraphy and folklore studded with Kiswahili and Somali slang, these stories mark the arrival of a singular new voice in contemporary fiction.

Fairytales for Lost Children was one of the best short story collections I read last year. You can read my review here.



In Melbourne’s Western Suburbs, in a dilapidated block of flats overhanging the rattling Footscray train-lines, a young black mother is working on a collection of stories.

The book is called FOREIGN SOIL. Inside its covers, a desperate asylum seeker is pacing the hallways of Sydney’s notorious Villawood detention centre, a seven-year-old Sudanese boy has found solace in a patchwork bike, an enraged black militant is on the war-path through the rebel squats of 1960s’ Brixton, a Mississippi housewife decides to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her son from small-town ignorance, a young woman leaves rural Jamaica in search of her destiny, and a Sydney schoolgirl loses her way.

The young mother keeps writing, the rejection letters keep arriving…

I think this sounds fascinating! I love it when short stories allow authors to explore all different types of narratives and characters, and it definitely sounds like Clarke has done that.



A debut story collection that plunges readers into the hearts of adolescent girls growing up in New York City, from poet and National Magazine Award nominee Jenny Zhang.

Centered on a community of immigrants who have traded their endangered lives as artists in China and Taiwan for the constant struggle of life at the poverty line in 1990s New York City, Zhang’s exhilarating collection examines the many ways that family and history can weigh us down and also lift us up. From the young woman coming to terms with her grandmother’s role in the Cultural Revolution to the daughter struggling to understand where her family ends and she begins, to the girl discovering the power of her body to inspire and destroy, these seven vibrant stories illuminate the complex and messy inner lives of girls struggling to define themselves. Fueled by Zhang’s singular voice and sly humor, this collection introduces Zhang as a bright and devastating force in literary fiction.

Okay, so this is being published by Lena Dunham’s publishing project, which…does not make me happy. BUT. This sounds really interesting and intersectional. Hopefully it hasn’t been negatively effected by Dunham’s influence.

What do you think of these? If you’ve got any short story recommendations, send them my way! They’re such an underrated genre, and I need to read more.

14 thoughts on “diversity spotlight thursday

  1. christine @ the story salve says:

    I’m so glad you focused this post on short stories! One of my goals for this year is to read more short fiction collections since I haven’t read many in the past. It’s very true what you say, that short stories really showcase a writer’s talent. I certainly haven’t developed that skillset yet, despite spending a lot of time working on novel drafts.

    I’m especially interested in Sour Heart, although I’m a bit meh on Lena Dunham. She gets thrown around as The Millennial Feminist so much but she’s also said some pretty problematic stuff. I’m definitely interested to see reviews of the collection before it comes out.


    1. whatthelog says:

      Thanks! I absolutely adore short stories- they’re probably my favourite genre. And that’s interesting- the only fiction I’m OK at is short stories!!

      Ugh yeah, I am NOT a fan. She’s such a white feminist that it hurts. I’m hoping that she’ll have little to do with the editing and nitty gritty of the publishing house. Because other than that, I think Sour Heart sounds great!


  2. ahitsdina says:

    Oh nice post, Wendy! I don’t know much about diverse short stories. I like the selection you have here. All very intriguing stuff. *High fives*


    1. whatthelog says:

      It really is good! The one thing that I didn’t like that I talk about in my review is that it uses the t slur quite a lot which :/
      Oh wow, that sounds interesting – heavy but good. I’ll definitely consider it. And yes, I want to read The Refugees!!

      Liked by 1 person

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