Date: 2013-11-17 07:58 pm (UTC)
nymeth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nymeth
Just wanted to say I think you did a fabulous job with this review - you highlighted both the things that are exciting about the story and the things that are saddening in a really balanced way. It's such a shame, like you said - there's SO much that makes it sound like a perfect book for me, but I wouldn't be able to not see the problems and the frustration would probably overwhelm everything else. And just to be clear and avoid falling intro any appropriative traps, as frustrating as I think reading it would be for me, I'm totally aware that my own feelings of connection and protectiveness towards my partner's culture pale in comparison to what I imagine reading it must be like to actual Brazilian readers. (I think I get a good glimpse if I think of Speaker for the Dead.)

Also, I'm really grateful for reviews like yours and Ana's, because between Publisher Weekly's "recognizably Brazilian setting" comment and some other commentary I read, I felt like this novel was being embraced as the end-all and be-all of progressive and diverse SFF in ways that made me really uncomfortable. Obviously I don't hold lack of knowledge against anyone who doesn't speak Portuguese or lacks the cultural and historical context you need to unpack the problems (with a different setting that could easily have been me), but it's so great to read posts by people who either know because it's their country and history, like Ana and all the commenters you cited, or listened and were thoughtful and did a lot of research, like you.

So yeah, not to discount all the ways in which The Summer Prince takes significant steps forward (which sound so awesome and I wish weren't barred from me), but there are still people who will, to borrow Ann Leckie's analogy, feel punched in the face by this book, and that's a great shame.
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