Walking through the halls of a big publishing firm, the first thing that will strike you is the books. Books everywhere: stacked on shelves, counter-tops, desks, spilling out of drawers and jammed into untold boxes leaning precariously against the walls. Once you’ve realised that no, you haven’t walked into an alternate universe where the streets are paved with countless copies of last years’ The Girl on the Train clone, you’ll notice the people. The sea of white, middle class people who have the power to decide which voices get heard and which will molder away in obscurity.
Let me tell you the harrowing tale of how I got my real life, grown-up job in London. It went like this:
I set a goal for myself that during the month of February I’d read books written by diverse authors. Being a white, anglophone reader means it’s very easy for my reading habits to become so “me centred” that I end up reading in a little bubble, a bubble that only reflects my own experiences and problems and joys. This month I wasn’t having any of it.