As the film and music industries grapple with the fallout from the race rows that dogged the Oscars and the Brit Awards, English author Bali Rai warns publishing too has a serious diversity issue. The award-winning writer, who has Indian heritage but was born and grew up in Leicester, echoes critics of Hollywood and the Academy Awards when he suggests gatekeepers are only recognising a narrow band of talent and ideas, which does not properly reflect society. He explains: “Publishing in the UK is a white, middle and upper class monolith.–AFP

Britain is 14 percent non-white, yet how many authors reflect that? If it’s more than 0.5 percent, I’d be shocked,” Rai tells AFP, in an interview ahead of his appearance at the Hong Kong Young Readers Festival.