As a young girl I read voraciously
About people in different lands, never did I see
A character whose life was similar to mine
Even in books from my country, I did not find
Someone like me represented, if I were to guess
Middle-class studious girls weren’t material for a book’s success
I learnt to inhabit the skins of characters varied
But I longed to see myself in the books I did read..
It seemed books were written with specific readership in mind
Even books written by indigenous authors I would find
Had a colonial perspective, meant to please
The erudite western reader’s sensibilities..
I read and loved many books, but never really felt a connection
The bookish world and mine had no intersection
It is quite refreshing these days to see
In published books increasing inclusivity
There are books with characters similar to me
Their circumstances sometimes mirror my history
Such stories also give me hope that one day
Someone would read what I have to say
Representation matters, and I feel validated as a reader
When I am able to see myself in a character..