What Do You Mean We Don’t Read?


“Harper has embarked on something we need more of in teen fiction – novels about African Americans and hip-hop culture where ethnicity is not the central plight. We hope to see more of Adrian’s future work as he continues to fill the holes in teen fiction.” Brave & Brass book blog

I firmly believe that urban teens would read more if there were more books targeted toward them and young adult males would read more if there were more books that empowered them.

This is why I wrote, and ultimately self published Night Biters because the notion of any culture with no desire to read is rediculous. The truth is they refuse to read what the industry is putting out, and the powers that be figure, if they not reading what I find interesting then apparently their not interested in literature. Its good to see that other authors are running into this obstacle and proving the industry wrong

Not a lot of Caribbean readers are as into SF. I think this stems from something my friend Dave Kirtley pointed out. He’d asked a friend to go see a genre movie and the person said that among minorities genre wasn’t interesting because the minorities always died, died for the white people, or just plain didn’t exist. It’s hard to want to participate or enjoy a medium that treats you like that.” Says Tobias Buckell the Sci-Fi author of the novel Crystal Rain says in an Memetherapy interview click here

What’s been most exciting about Crystal Rain is that it seems to be selling well, which is hopefully a blow to the argument put forth by some that readers in our genre won’t buy books with minority main characters or minorities on the cover of the book.

If African Americans Don’t Read Whats With All the Ghetto Lit?

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott is a minister, writer, lecturer and activist. He has been a guest on talk shows across the country discussing the issues of Rap,Race,Religion and Revolution.In this Pod Cast he take on the notion if African American’s don’t read what’s with the glut of Ghetto Lit?

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. stephlib says:

    Hi Adrian. You bring up some intereting points here. It’s not that African American’s don’t read. In fact, the majority of my teen readers like to read street lit. The teens are reading Adult urban lit!

    That’s why I liked the idea being Night Biters… It was Urban Lit meets sci fi meets teen fiction.


  2. stephlib says:

    This also brings up ANOTHER point. Should the teachers use urban lit to teach the classes, instead of classics?

    What do you think about that?


  3. Adrian Harper says:

    I have 2 thoughts on the question

    1# What are classics? sure War & Peace, and the Old Man and the Sea are relevant today, but unless you readapt them what’s the likelyhood of any of todays teens reading them?
    And how empowering are classics such as Huck Finn, Native Son or Color Purple to teen African American males ? Who need symbols that they can look up to. We need to update our listing of classics
    Not that they are good but how they fit into the times

    2# Urban lit can never replace the classics they can hopefully act as a conduit to classic fiction
    most Urban Lit reflect the lives of the reader not taking them far from their front stoop, the classic elevate the readers thinking providing incites and new ideas.
    In Night Biters there is a scene where J-Dawg confronts his dead fathers ghost, I added that scene to link the reader to Hamlet, Just as I asked the question what would happen if a vampire bit a crackhead? to get the reader to consider the true ravishes of drugs
    My hope that the reader of Night Biter will be interested in finding the answers to the questions presented in Night Biters in other books not more of the same kind which is often the case with Urban Lit. Although there are some good ones out there


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