Come August 22 the big Kickstarter-funded bust of H. P. Lovecraft is due for its public unveiling in a Providence library.
Not everyone who’s been given an opportunity to display a bust of Lovecraft has been so enthusiastic – even when it comes in the form of the World Fantasy Award.
China Miéville says he keeps his copy with its face turned to the wall.
The reason? As David Barnett explains in The Guardian —
[I]t’s not so much his strange hybrid of science fiction and supernatural terror that is the problem as his racism. When the Nigerian-American Nnedi Okorafor became the first black woman to win the World Fantasy award in 2011, a friend pointed out the fact that the award was problematic – it being a bust of Lovecraft. Okorafor gamely reproduces one of his racist poems on her blog and writes: “I am the first black person to win the World Fantasy award for Best Novel since its inception in 1975. Lovecraft is probably rolling in his grave.”
The full quote at Okorafor’s blog is even better. It continues —
Or maybe, having become spirit, his mind has cleared of the poisons and now understands the err of his ways. Maybe he is pleased that a book set and about Africa in the future has won an award crafted in his honor. Yeah, I’ll go with that image.
[Thanks to Steven H Silver for the story.]