Gosh, I like her more and more each day and I have yet to read a book by her. Here she lays out some plain and obvious truths that publishing doesn’t want to hear.
Evaristo, who won the Booker last year for Girl, Woman, Other, writes in the new report of her own experiences when her 2013 novel Mr Loverman “was negatively considered by some in the industry as triple niche” because its protagonist is an older, gay, black man.
“What were they saying? That whiteness reigns supreme, heteronormativity is acceptable and old people be gone from the pages of our books because you are of little importance?” asked Evaristo. “The truth is that good literature about anything can be enjoyed by all kinds of people. Literature transcends all perceived differences and barriers. It’s partly the point of it.”
It is frustrating, Evaristo writes, to learn that “the publishing industry is still run by the predominantly white, middle-class demographic of years ago, and that the perceived target reader is a middle-aged, middle-class white woman, who apparently does not have the imagination to want to engage with writings by people of colour, which is plainly untrue”.