In my spare non-college time, I spend a somewhat freakish amount of time in bookstores; mainly because I work for one. So I have a few bookstore related pet peeves, and I felt like sharing them.
They’re supposedly stories that are set in a city landscape, are really just somewhat stereotypical stories about African-American people. I recently read an article over on mediabistro about how the Urban-Fiction or African-American fiction sections in bookstores help sales of these authors. From my experience the only time I ever see people looking at those books is when they’re saying “Are these books for black people or can I read them too?” (That is an actual customer statement). Then when African-Americans do want an urban fiction novel, they look somewhat embarrassed at the fact that they have go to a section that is clearly labeled “African-American/Urban Fiction” Like those two ideas are one and the same. Zadie Smith (White Teeth) and Toni Morrison (The Bluest Eye) are placed in the Literary Fiction section, while authors like Zane (who did the mediabistro interview) and Relentless Aaron are put in urban fiction, and they mostly write erotica and romance that just happen to have african-american characters who speak in ebonics or in slang. I don’t see why publishers, and bookstores don’t just separate those sections based off the story content.