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What is diversity?

Diversity in literature involves telling the stories of those groups that have traditionally been marginalized. This would include those who've been excluded by their gender, race, sexuality, or disability. The process of diversification opens up new opportunities for self-expression and gives readers an insight into experiences with which they may not be familiar.

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In recent decades, diversity has become an increasingly important consideration in the writing and production of literature. As hitherto marginalized groups within society have become more vocal in demanding that their voice be heard, a growing space has opened up in literature to allow such groups to tell their stories.

Whereas literature in the West for many years tended to deal with the perspectives of the privileged, nowadays there is a much greater degree of diversity. Now there are stories being told by those traditionally relegated to the margins of society on account of their race, gender, or sexual orientation.

One of the most obvious examples of diversity in the literary field has been the phenomenon of post-colonial writing. This has involved men and women from countries previously colonized by Western powers finally being given a chance to tell their stories and to offer their unique perspectives on their experiences of life in the developing world.

During the lengthy period of Western colonialism, indigenous voices were actively suppressed by the authorities, who didn't regard their stories as being in any way important. Among other things, this allowed Western writers to frame the stories of indigenous people in ways that radically distorted the experiences of millions of men and women living under colonial rule. But now, it is increasingly the case that writers in the developing world get to tell their own stories in their own way without the truth of their unique experiences being refracted through the distorting prism of literary colonialism.

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