Monday, December 15, 2008
Does it Matter if You're Black or White in Christian Fiction?
I was at a party this weekend and met an author of several Christian fiction titles. She is published by my same publisher (Simon & Schuster) and has a very lucrative contract. We had a nice chat about the publishing industry and our work. But here's a question I came up with after our conversation was over and I'm hoping some of you might be able to answer it.
When we talk of Inspirational Fiction, we know that's code for Christian fiction. My question is, are inspirational fiction writers segregated on the book shelves or are they all lumped together under one Inspirational umbrella? Do White Christians read Black Christian authors and vice versa? More importantly, is there a difference in the type of Christianity or inspirational theme in the work of White vs Black inspirational authors? And let's not stop there. I'm going to assume there are some Latino and Asian Christian titles floating around out there too. Where do they fit in?
As a person who has never read any inspirational fiction, these questions all started percolating in my mind. Anybody have any answers? Is inspirational fiction, like the romance genre, divided down color lines? While I don't believe in segregated literature in any format, I do find it particularly ironic to have Christian fiction divided by race. I mean really. What would Jesus think?
P.S. Got some new links over there on the side. And we had to say goodbye to Stereohyped. They were shut down abruptly. RIP.