Happy Valentine’s Day, readers! To celebrate the occasion, we’ve decided to do a post honoring popular literary couples. Part of what makes a literary couple “popular” is how ubiquitous they’ve become in our culture — they become identifiable by the simplest symbols or phrases. Can you guess these six literary couples by picture?
(Correct answers will get you automatically entered in our February Book Giveaway!)
…But, wait. Why are all of these white, straight couples on a diversity blog? Excellent question, reader. (Although I guess we could argue that one of the six involves a person of color). Do a search on “popular literary couples” and you’ll see our list is no anomaly. Most compilations are dominated by Euro-centric classics the likes of Jane Austen and William Shakespeare. Searching for “POC literary couples” (and many, many variations) yields mostly science fiction and fantasy lists, which, while useful, didn’t really apply to our specific guessing game (i.e. too many obscure titles). The same occurs when searching for other diverse couples, including LBTQAI and disabled characters in romantic relationships.
Even though popular media is slowly showing signs of positive media representation, including diversity in romantic relationships, it is clear that these couples are still on the fringes of our culture when it comes to what is “popular,” especially in the literary world, and especially when it comes to what we idealize as a collective. I mean, look at how PoC movies focus on culture and history but PoC actors and actresses almost never get to be romantic leads in big budget movies.
Chebk and I wracked our brains to think of some diverse couple examples but came up with symbols and pictures that we weren’t sure enough people would be able to guess them. Once we think of enough, we’ll be posting another round of this game. It’ll be tougher but it’ll be more awesome, too~
In short: We need more diverse couples and romance! Hearts and love for everyone this Valentine’s Day. 🙂
If you have any recs for diverse literary couples, let us know in the comments!