Written by Akaya McElveen
Willimantic, Conn. - Michèle Bošković, French professor in the World Languages and Cultures Department at Eastern Connecticut State University has authored her fourth book titled "Paroles d'auteurs jeunesse: Autour du multiculturalisme et des minorites visibles en France" (In Youth Authors' Words: Multiculturalism and Visible Minorities in France) published by Rodopi Publishers, based in the United States and the Netherlands. The book is a collection of interviews with 12 children's literature writers and one illustrator. It explores multiculturalism in France through the work of children's literature.
Bošković wrote the book with the intent to show a realistic reflection of what French society really is, to change the way society looks at diversity and to bridge together different communities. Bošković purposefully chose writers of diverse backgrounds to include in her book. She began the process in 2007, and began her interviews while on sabbatical in 2008. "In the field of literature, children's literature is not generally recognized as literature," says Bošković.
She cites racism as a problem in French society. Bošković explains that by combating the problem through exposing children to diversity in children's literature, there is a likelihood that the new generation will be more informed than children who were in school 30 years ago. "For there to be less racism," said Bošković, "you have to start with children."