The quite wonderful Boing Boing points to a link for the small press US publisher of 'Writing the Other' by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward.

From Boing Boing:
"Writing the Other: A Practical Approach by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward is now available from Aqueduct Press for $9 a copy. Based on the acclaimed "Writing the Other" workshop, this book includes essays and exercises that help authors create believable characters with diverse backgrounds. Race, religion, and age are among the differences covered in the book's hands-on approach."

This is something I've wondered about from time to time in relation to my own fiction, given a huge chunk of the human race is represented by the citizens of both India and China - two nations pretty much guaranteed to play an increasingly central role in the politics and economics of the 21st Century and beyond. I was impressed with the way Ian McDonald dealt with non-standard, non-white characters in River of Gods, and I've been thinking ever since, how to get away from writing the same old middle-class anglo-saxon protagonists, even just for a change? So I may well end up ordering the book myself.

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