all pretty old, pretty white

polnia

New Member
Russian
Hello there! I don't really understand the words "all pretty white" (it's about books in the library and the main character is a witch).

The context is here:

I snuck in a few others books (all pretty old, all pretty white; our branch director is one of those pinch-lipped Baptists who thinks fantasy books teach kids about Devil worship, so roughly 90% of my collection requests are mysteriously denied): A Wrinkle in Time came back with the furtive, jammed-in-a-backpack scent that meant he liked it but thought it was too young for him; Watership Down was offended because he never got past the first ten pages, but I guess footnotes about rabbit-math aren’t for everyone; and The Golden Compass had the flashlight-smell of 3:00 a.m. on its final chapter and was unbearably smug about it. I’d just gotten an inter-library-loaned copy of Akata Witch when he stopped coming.

<Edited by moderator (Florentia52) for readability>
 
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  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    You haven't provided the source of your quoted text. Is this it?

    "A Witch's Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies," by Alix E. Harrow, in The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year,Vol. 13
     

    polnia

    New Member
    Russian
    You haven't provided the source of your quoted text. Is this it?

    "A Witch's Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies," by Alix E. Harrow, in The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year,Vol. 13
    yes, right
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I'm guessing it's a glancing reference to books by "dead white males", which are being denigrated by some students and faculty lately.

    These are rather old books, mostly by white authors. For some readers that would be a book list severely lacking in "diversity".
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    guessing it's a glancing reference to books by "dead white males", which are being denigrated by some students and faculty lately.
    That's definitely the possibility I thought of but I can't say that I'd bet money on it because the context doesn't narrow things down very clearly.
     

    Laurentiana

    Member
    English - Canada
    pretty white = overwhelmingly Caucasian, not diverse

    That’s definitely the meaning here. It may apply either to the authors or the characters, or both. “Old” may apply to the authors or the books.

    A home care worker tells me that “don’t be so white” means “you’re so stuffy,” “where’s your sense of humour?”
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I've just checked the book out (Google Books) . The text quoted by the OP is incorrect:

    I snuck in a few others books (all pretty old, all pretty white;

    Anyway, having read some more of the context I also agree that 'white' in reference to a book here means the sort of book a white person would read.
     

    polnia

    New Member
    Russian
    I've just checked the book out (Google Books) . The text quoted by the OP is incorrect:

    I snuck in a few others books (all pretty old, all pretty white;

    Anyway, having read some more of the context I also agree that 'white' in reference to a book here means the sort of book a white person would read.
    thank you so much!
     
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