readallthenewberys: animated gif of Snoopy writing a story with multiple strange subplots (Default)
[personal profile] justice_turtle
Summary: Short stories set in China, written by a native of Virginia, USA. It is unclear to me whether the author had been to China (as he claims in one story that he had) and collected folktales for inspiration, or whether (as Wiki asserts) they are simply "original creations". Okay, this review on the collaborative Newbery Project blog tells me that the closest Chrisman got to China was San Francisco's Chinatown, where he claimed to have gotten Chinese folktales from a shopkeeper with the aid of translators, and that Chrisman spoke no actual Chinese (of any dialect).

Reaction: OH JOHN RINGO ARTHUR CHRISMAN NO. AUGH. I got through four stories of the lot - a third of the book's length - and then STOPPED BECAUSE NO. Loads of cultural appropriation! Pidgin English! Blatant misogyny! Domestic violence as comedy! Everybody acting like idiots! MISOGYNY WAY MORE BLATANT THAN CHARLES BOARDMAN HAWES, and that's saying a bit.

Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy is this, this, one of the early Newberys that I have heard mentioned as Recommended For School and still in print? :P

Conclusion: No stars. Because I told him on the second page, domestic violence, blatant misogyny, racism, pidgin English )

So. Um. Yeah. I would like to state, this is a shame! He was really good at funny, catchy writing that kids would appreciate! He just also needed to have all his attempts at interacting with or referring to non-white-male-adult people BURNED WITH EVERLASTING FIRE. O_O
readallthenewberys: animated gif of Snoopy writing a story with multiple strange subplots (Default)
[personal profile] justice_turtle
Hrum. Wikipedia assures me that the short-stories in this book are the original creations of Mr Arthur Bowie Chrisman, a Virginia native, but the back cover is trying extremely hard to convince me - without saying it flat out - that they are traditional Chinese folktales. I am Well Dubious. Granted, Mr Chrisman probably wasn't responsible for the back cover, as this looks like... yes, it is a reprint. 1968. O_O [ETA: He actually was responsible for the back cover - it's from an interview he gave. :P]

The thing is, being a pasty white person of whiteness, I am not really very familiar with what is offensive when writing about other cultures. But I suspect this book crosses the line.

Onward and, um, throughward! ;P Lots of racism under here... WARNING for implied domestic violence and blatant misogyny, too. )... and now I am done with this book, even though there are thirteen more stories and 150 more pages.

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