Well, there's no denying this is a beautiful, eye-catching cover, right? Something that will definitely sell this book.
Which is exactly the reason it was chosen, no matter how much hurt, pain and offense it is causing people.
Here's the description of Liar from the author, Justine Larbaliester:
"I never wanted a girl’s face on the cover. Micah’s identity is unstable. She spends the book telling different version of herself. I wanted readers to be free to imagine her as they wanted."
She goes on to say in the post:
"One of the most upsetting impacts of the cover is that it’s led readers to question everything about Micah: If she doesn’t look anything like the girl on the cover maybe nothing she says is true. At which point the entire book, and all my hard work, crumbles." Larbalestier strongly prefers the Australian cover:
In the book, Micah is protrayed as a black girl with short hair. So why is it that the cover shows a WHITE girl with LONG hair?The answer: It's called a "white wash" cover. For some reason, people at Bloomsbury Sales and Marketing think people just won't buy a cover with a girl of color on it. Here's a PR statement from Melanie Cecka, the publishing director of Bloomsbury who worked on Liar: “Clearly, our striving for ambiguity with this cover, and for it to be interpreted as a ‘lie’ itself didn’t work for everyone. But again, if this jacket proves a catalyst for a bigger discussion about how the industry is dealing with its books on race, that’s a very large good to come of this current whirlwind.”
And here's what Justine has to say about this:
"... we can’t know if it’s true that white people won’t buy books about people of colour. All we can say is that poorly publicised books with “black covers” don’t sell. The same is usually true of poorly publicised books with “white covers.”"
I just don't know what to think of this. Maybe this wasn't meant as a political statement, but just to go along with the plot? Like, she's a compulsive liar, so she's lying about her appearance? That's what I originally thought when I saw the post by Allison on Read Into This, but then you consider the things Marketing are thinking. And either way, it's terrible disrespect to the author, whose "hard work just crumbles" from the readers questioning it.
So what I want to know is, what do you think? Rascism or just going with the plot? I really want to know (oops, that sounds sarcastic but I want to know what you think! Please? :D)
So here's some things you can do to make a difference (I'm copying this directly from Allison's site- sorry, Allison! Is it ok? Leave a comment if it isn't):
Here are some things you can do:
E-mail Deb Shapiro at Deb.Shapiro@bloomsburyusa.com. Let her know that this is wrong and you care about it. No matter your race, your opinion should matter!
Blog about it! The more word gets out, the more of an impact we, as readers, can make!
Be more aware of the books you read! Join a multi-cultural book challenge here. You'll never know what kind of a change you can make until you try.
Participate in the C.O.R.A. Diversity Roll Call meme, which is bi-weekly! You can find this week's here.
Also, you can read Justine Larbalestier's blog post here, and the PW article here.
SO thanks so much to Allison for the info and ways to help! I love how you use your blog to inform others of things like this, and what we can do to help. I think I see a new award in your future :) As soon as I can figure out how to MAKE an award. Is it like Foto Flexer or something?
Anyways, check out Allison's post here, and make sure you do what you can to gelp the cause :)