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[personal profile] firecat
What are you currently reading?
Dangerous Mourning by Anne Perry, #2 in the Inspector William Monk series, set in the mid-19th century. The first book in this series was interesting but not a standout. But I'm really liking this book for its attention to class and women's issues. Some books use an historical setting as an excuse to let protagonists be sexist and racist with impunity, but this one does not. (And as a result some of the characters' attitudes are probably more modern than they would really have been.)

Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire (October Daye #4)

Lilith's Brood, Octavia Butler

What did you recently finish reading?

Elizabeth Peters, Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody #1)
Mystery series set in late-19th/early-20th (this book in 1884-85). The protagonist is based in part on a real Victorian novelist, Amelia Edwards. This book was written in 1975. There is quite a lot of racism in this book, unfortunately. Not the hateful kind but the "they're so backward" kind. It's probably historically accurate to some degree.

P.N. Elrod, Bloodcircle (Vampire Files #3).

What books did you acquire this week?
Where Angels Fear to Tread by Thomas E. Sniegoski
Ancient, Ancient, short fiction by Kiini Ibura Salaam. One of the 2012 Tiptree winners.
Cloud and Ashes: Three Winter's Tales by Greer Gilman. One of the 2009 Tiptree winners.
The Mount by Carol Emshwiller

Date: 13 May 2013 04:01 pm (UTC)
apis_mellifera: (Default)
From: [personal profile] apis_mellifera
Later in the Amelia Peabody books, Amelia is forced to confront her racism--it's been a while since I've read the book in question but I remember finding it very powerful because Amelia hadn't perceived herself as holding racist attitudes until, well, it became obvious that she was.

Date: 13 May 2013 04:24 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] flarenut
Even Peabody's racism, though --and I guess this would be necessary to have characters that modern readers who aren't bigots could like -- is a sort of sanitized Peter Principle[1] race/class thing where she can have complete respect for someone of another race as long as they stay in their place. (And it's the freakout over that place violation, iirc, that she has to confront.)

There's a strong strain of that in a lot of racist/classist/sexist fiction, from Tarzan on forwards...

[1] in the original Peter Principle, there's an argument that social systems with race/class divides function more competently because many people reach the top of their socially-allowed ladder well before reaching the limits of their competence (e.g. Jeeves, Bunter et al). It's a crap argument of course, but very attractive in some ways.


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