August 10th, 2009

Who owns a a book?

Okay, I’m sure we’ve all been following the flap about Justine Larbeister’s Liar, which was given a cover showing a white girl, when the character is mixed race with nappy hair and thinks of herself as black.

If you’re not familiar with this at all, here’s a place to start. However, the cover has been changed to show a black girl.

What surprised me was to read a comment from someone big in the YA world. To paraphrase, they said that even though Justine said the main character was black, and the cover was in error, her opinion was no better than anyone else’s, because she also wrote that the character was a liar.

My understanding is that they were saying the book belonged to any reader as much as the writer. But in the end, I say the writer owns the book more than the readers. And if Rowling wants to say that Dumbledore is gay, even if it’s not in the books, then I say she’s right.

What do you think?

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