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Coloring into Existence - Queer of Color Worldmaking in Children’s Literature

  • Pocket

  • 2023

  • Engelsk

Argues that queer picture books with main characters of color can disrupt structures of power in both literature and real life
Coloring into Existence investigates the role of authors, illustrators, and independent publishers in producing alternative narratives that disrupt colonial, heteropatriarchal notions of childhood. These texts or characters unsettle the category of the child, and thus pave the way for broader understandings of childhood. Often unapologetically politically motivated, queer and trans of color picture books can serve as the basis for fantasizing about disruptions to structures of power, both within and outside literary worlds.
Fusing literary criticism and close readings with historical analysis and interviews, Isabel Millán documents the emergence of a North American queer of color children’s literary archive. In doing so, she considers the sociopolitical circumstances out of which queer of color children’s literature emerged; how a queer and trans of color aesthetic translates to picture books; and how the acts of imagination and worldmaking inspired by picture books produce a realm of freedom, healing, and transformation for queer and trans of color children and adults.
Coloring into Existence explores the curious ways that queer and trans of color publications “color outside the lines”—refusing to conform to industry standards, intermixing fiction with nonfiction, and mobilizing alternative modes of production and distribution to create new worlds.

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