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COMMUNITY

Dissident Kid Lit

Four South Asian authors talk about children's publishing & narratives that come from pain but create joy.
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20 Dec 2020
Panel
Kid Lit
Panel
Kid Lit
Children's Literature
Age
Ageism
Black Solidarities
Islamophobia
Anti-Racism
Publishing Industry
Public History
Colorism
Leadership
Future Dream Spaces
Dreaming
Spiritual Practice
Art Practice
Illustration
Demonstration
Reading
Muslim-American Narrative
Identity
Procreate
Sikh Spiritualism
Biracial
Diaspora
Diasporic Distance
Dreamers
Legends
Muslim Girls
Brownness
In-Progress
Affirmation Art
Knowledge
Comics
Debut Authors
Public Arts
Authenticity
Genre Tropes
Religion
Generational Stories
Kindness as Politics
Personal History
Experimental Methods
Language
Comic
Humor
Pedagogy
Absurdity
Literature & Liberation
Art Activism
Fiction
Craft
Race
Metaphor
Vernacular Literature
Politics of Art
Victimization Narratives

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Political dissidence isn't often thought to be part of parenting discourse or children's reading practice—but it must be. In our third panel, four South Asian authors talk about navigating children's publishing and the balance of narratives that come from pain but create joy. Saira Mir, Simran Jeet Singh, Vashti Harrison, & Shelly Anand discussed why their books tackle issues including race, religion, age, and body image, and how children's literature can aim to decenter the white gaze, break out of victimized narratives, and spark conversations in young readers. Watch Deputy Editor Aditya Desai on how this panel came about.


The panel opened with Shelly reading from her book, Laxmi's Mooch, that has since been published to great acclaim. It then moved into a conversation with Saira, Simran, and Vashti and their books, Muslim Girls Rise, Fauja Singh Keeps Going, and Festival of Colors, respectively, while tackling such questions as: How do you balance the desire to claim ownership of narratives or to offer representation? How do we navigate being asked to write about communal trauma, pain versus writing what we want? What are the strategies of breaking out of a victimizing framework? We conclude with an illustration demo from Vashti on how she collaborates with the writer's storylines and finds ways to place her own political stamp on the book!


EDITOR'S NOTE: Since this panel on 20th December 2020, our panelists have published more notable books (some recent, others upcoming in 2023). Check for updates by navigating to their pages below.

FICTION & POETRY

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