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Ibi Zoboi @ibizoboi
, 8 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
This is an insulting review from a major publication (@WSJ) by a very problematic reviewer, Meghan Cox Gurdon. So I’d like to review her review as an example of the “classical narrative tact” she was looking for in my book.
The first indication that this review has not gone through any sort fact-checking protocol is its inaccurate use of the word “Afro-Caribbean”. Nowhere in the novel are any of the characters referred to as Afro-Caribbean.
The reviewer has intentionally erased & undermined the descriptor “Afro-Latin” despite it being on the flap copy & despite its pervasive use in the media, including @WSJ.
She uses of the word “animus” to describe the young character’s concerns for her changing community. This reveals the reviewer’s marrow-deep bigotry & a limited understanding of the valid anger & frustrations of marginalized children.
She fails to elaborate on her definition of “literary formality” nor does she indicate exactly who has described a novel as ever having “classical narrative tact”. She may have been expecting the archaic language in Regency-era novels, or the Queen’s English itself.
The reviewer quotes a few lines of AAVE to falsely highlight the novel’s presumed intellectual inferiority. Clearly, she has a limited understanding of metaphor, wordplay, & the overall verbal ingenuity that Black children bring to the English language.
Her heavy use of delusional intellectual superiority will undoubtedly amuse & validate those readers ages colonial to white supremacist who use it themselves, but it may otherwise limit the review's appeal.
No, I absolutely will not be commenting on all reviews. But when you bring "those readers" into a review, you're talking about our children, many of whom are forced to bend & minimize their inherit genius to fit your idea of intelligence.
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