Update on Amélie Wen Zhao’s “Blood Heir”

blood heir

Cover art for the novel “Blood Heir” by Amélie Wen Zhao

In reviewing my blog stats today, I saw someone had read an article I wrote back in February 2019 called Amélie Wen Zhao, “Blood Heir,” and Social Justice (or is it vengeance).

Apparently, even before Amélie Wen Zhao’s book was published, a whole bunch of self-righteous online pundits accused Zhao of writing an anti-black tome which should, from their perspective, be shunned and never see the light of day. You can click the link I provided for the details, but among the bullies I was was able to find on twitter were Ellen 오 Oh and Paige Cee (Cee had made her twitter page private during the backlash against her, but I see now it’s available).

Unfortunately, after being brutally and unjustly attacked, Zhao did the worst thing she could do. She apologized to her abusers. Metaphorically speaking, this is like the victim of domestic violence apologizing to the person who has beaten her black and blue with their fists.

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Amélie Wen Zhao’s Fantasy Novel “Blood Heir” Available November 2019!

blood heir

Cover art for the novel “Blood Heir” by Amélie Wen Zhao

If you read my February blog post “Blood Heir” and Social Justice (or is it vengeance) which echoed many other voices on the web, you’ll recall how author Amélie Wen Zhao was bullied on social media to pull her book Blood Heir from publication over what Slate.com author Aja Hoggatt called accusations of racism and being “anti-black”.

Tablet Magazine called her detractors a twitter mob composed of what’s been referred to as “YA Twitter:”

an online community composed of authors, editors, agents, reviewers, and readers that appears to skew significantly older than the actual readership for the popular genre of young adult fiction, which is roughly half teens and half adults.

The Tablet article goes on to say:

As Kat Rosenfield, a Tablet writer who is herself a published YA author, wrote in a deeply entertaining Vulture feature on The Toxic Drama on YA Twitter, in the summer of 2017, “Young-adult books are being targeted in intense social media callouts, draggings, and pile-ons—sometimes before anybody’s even read them.”

Even though the author defended herself and explained the cultural context (her own) that inspired her novel, she was dragged through the virtual gutters and intimidated into indefinitely delaying the release of her book. She’s an excellent example of having apologized when, objectively, she really didn’t do anything wrong except cross paths with the YA twitter “powers that be.”

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Amélie Wen Zhao, “Blood Heir,” and Social Justice (or is it vengeance)

blood heir

Cover art for the novel “Blood Heir” by Amélie Wen Zhao

I’ve held off about commenting on Amélie Wen Zhao controversial book Blood Heir, since it seemed that more than enough online pundits were weighing in, both for and against the book. Also, I didn’t really understand what the problem was all about. Yes, it had something to do with slavery, but what did Zhao actually write that at least some people found so offensive?

However, as a matter of good conscience, I felt I should look into the matter and see what it was supposed to be all about. To that end, I decided to seek the answer from one of the most liberal information outlets I could find, Slate.com. It doesn’t get much more leftist than Slate. Writer Aja Hoggatt wrote an article called An Author Canceled Her Own YA Novel Over Accusations of Racism. But Is It Really Anti-Black? published January 31, 2019. I found the write-up really even-handed, especially given Slate’s obvious leftist perspective.

First off, here’s the summary of the book I found at Amazon:

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