AAPI Month Profiles: Day Five

Ellen Oh

The Basics: A native of New York, Ellen Oh was a former practice of corporate and entertainment law.   Of Korean-American heritage, this author has spurred calls for diversity in the publishing world and is a co-founder of the WENEEDDIVERSEBOOKS movement.  Her most well-known work to date is her trilogy; The Seven Kingdoms trilogy.  It smashes boundaries in speculative fiction for being written by a woman of color AND not being a European centric fantasy series.  It is based on Korean history, which interestingly enough a great deal she learned through translation as she is not fluent in Korean.

Why I Chose Them:  If no other reason than the founding of WENEEDDIVERSEBOOKS, Ellen Oh would be deserving of being talked about.  She helped to start a conversation in literature, particularly speculative literature that has been needed for such a long time.  The writing on the wall is quite simple and it’s that writers of color have to work much, much harder than their white (and usually male) counterparts to find success in the writing world.  This movement has done so much for me and makes me feel like things like this very blog are worthwhile.  Ellen Oh was willing to call out something that she saw as wrong and it has spurned a real movement.


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