Monday, November 21, 2011

African American fantasy writers

Lord of the Rings. Game of Thrones. Narnia. All are wildly popular fantasy series set in alternate worlds that re-create ancient or medieval Europe. Yet who says fantasy is the unique domain of Teutonic or Norse inspired myths?

Not N.K. Jemisin or David Anthony Durham. Both are African American authors writing in the high fantasy tradition. Jemisin, creator of the Inheritance Trilogy, creates complex mythologies involving characters living at the margins of their societies. Durham, author of the Acacia Trilogy, takes a similarly inventive look at the brutality and moral ambiguity in great empires. Both authors feature multi-racial casts of characters, and deal with the ethics of slavery and cultural subjugation. For an excellent article on these two writers, and other African Americans in fantasy, see Laura Miller's piece, "If Tolkien Were Black", in the current Salon magazine. And take a look at EPL's list of Africa and African Americans in Science Fiction for more reading ideas!

No comments:

Post a Comment