It’s hard to admit, but many of us view the world through a very narrow set of cultural norms–OURS. And it’s totally understandable because we’ve known our culture from birth. Unless we’re exposed to other world views through travel, contact with people from different parts of world who live near us or in books that open our minds to different ways of looking at the world we use our standards as the RIGHT ones.
Last week in Young Adult Teen Tuesday I applauded the multi-cultural books that revealed different cultural norms and held up stereotypes scrutiny. Today I’m welcoming a writer with a new book that does exactly that. I think you’ll enjoy meeting STEPHANIE JEFFERSON and learning about her book, PRINCESS KANDRAKE.
Hello Lee, thank you for this opportunity to share some of my thoughts here on your blog. When asked, I usually tell people the story of how I came to write this book in the first place.
- The main character is considered an adult at age 14. Frankly, I boosted her age for the sensitivities of western culture.
- I refused to remove the reference to the baring of breast as an indication of coming of age. This is a cultural norm.
- The fact that the main character is female and training to become a warrior is not treated as an oddity, or anything special for that culture.
- The idea that Kandake would not want to rule is not treated as an issue of immaturity.
- The historical fact that a female can rule in her own right, not because she married the king.
- The idea of a brown princess.
- The fact that a girl can do anything if she is willing to work hard enough.
In ancient Nubia (and many other cultures) young women announce their coming of age by the baring of their breasts. Does including this as part of the story offend you?
Thanks for your wonderful post, Stephanie. I’ve already looked up Nubia and want to know more about the country and its people. I appreciate your opening this culture to me.