The New York Times sparks criticism after releasing an all-white reading list

Critics claim list has always suffered from a lack of diversity

Justin Carissimo
Monday 25 May 2015 17:45 BST
A senior white man reading on the beach, laughing.
A senior white man reading on the beach, laughing. (Baerbel Schmidt/Photodisc/Getty Images)

The New York Times' summer reading list has come under fire after failing to include at least one writer of colour.

Janet Maslin, the New York Times literary critic, recently released her annual list "Cool Books for Hot Summer Days" which includes 17 books by 17 white writers.

Readers, authors and literary publications have all condemned the list for its lack of diversity. Nobody from the newspaper immediately responded to inquiries.

According to Gawker, past volumes of the esteemed publication’s summer reading list have also had a diversity problem.

“2012: 90.4% 20/21 (Exception: Mindy Kaling)

2013: 93.7% 15/16 (Exception: Kevin Kwan with “Crazy Rich Asians”)

2014: 88% 15/17 (Alarmingly diverse! Exceptions: Mariano Rivera & Laline Paul)

2015: 100% 17/17 (Summer Color Forecast: Whiteout Conditions!)”

Ms Maslin has been planning to step down from her role as the publication’s book critic come July, Capital New York reported, and this may very well be her last summer reading compilaiton.

In response, the website Book Riot has compiled “Recommended Summer Reading: An Alternative List” which claims to “fairly represent the authors out there.”

“Today the New York Times and NPR released their summer reading recommendations. While there is nothing wrong with the books they have chosen, it seems they would have you believe that only white people are writing books worthy of summer reading,” Book Critic writer Liberty Hardy said.

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