[DWJ] McKinley and racism (WAS recommendations)

Gin kalaidiscope at gmail.com
Tue Jul 30 21:59:36 EDT 2013


Re: Blue Sword- This was very influenced by Kipling.  From memory, it name
checks Kim in the authors dedication. It's an interesting puzzle, because
Kim ( and Aerin) are both " white" colonial, shown as more capable than the

But they are capable because they bridge the worlds- they may be white on
the outside, but the are "eggs" , yellow on the inside ( To use the
colloquial term for people who identify asian, even though they look

There has been interesting discussion on this IRL here in Australia- Is
someone who is only 1/16th indigenous allowed to identify as Aboriginal?
There are people who do identify as aboriginal with this little indigenous
blood, and they defend there right to do so. I don't have a problem with
this myself. Certainly Aerin has native blood, and finds that she connects
with her heritage- that her heritage reaches out and grabs her- more than
her birth country ever did. So I would be reluctant to call  her a "great
white hero"

As Erika said, the older man/younger woman theme is directly connected to
Mckinley's life- She is in love with an older man, and that is what she
writes about. Seems fair to me, though I can see that someone just looking
at the books without that knowledge might find the continuing theme a bit

Sometimes it does help to know something about the author, in spite of them
all telling us that the books should be judged independently....

ODWJ reference...Does DWJ have any black characters? I have just realised I
cannot name any. Does DWJ go out  of her way to describe characters as



On Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 11:16 AM, erikagillian at gmail.com <
erikagillian at gmail.com> wrote:

> The reason that age gap shows up is (probably) because McKinley is married
> to Peter Dickinson, who is twenty five years her senior.   Also a
> children's and YA author of some renown.
> Janet Eastwood <janet.eastwood at hotmail.com> wrote:
> >Oh yes, read Ghost Knight and Dragon Rider by all means. And for younger
> readers, Funke's picturebooks are funny and sweet and bold.
> >
> >Another thing that troubles me with McKinley's writing (much as I like
> some of her books) is the pervasive theme of young woman marrying much
> older man. It shows up in many of her works (and in many other authors'
> works as well), and while an age gap isn't necessarily a bad thing, the
> recurrence of young female protagonist in her late teens marrying a man
> somewhere between ten and two hundred years (Beauty) older is slightly
> worrying. Because while such marriages can and do work out happily,
> historically and socially, older + male = power. So there's quite the power
> imbalance there, as well as other emphases on the lover as a powerful male:
> "Master" (Chalice - as Martha pointed out), king (The Blue Sword), captor
> (Beauty, Rose Daughter), teacher (Spindle's End), vampire (Sunshine),
> sorcerer...
> >
> >Janet
> >
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