03 July 2010


At a critique-group meeting earlier this week, Mitali Perkins showed us a new cover for Extreme American Makeover, the start of her First Daughter series about a teenaged girl adopted from Pakistan whose father runs for President of the U.S.

One of these covers is for HarperCollins’s Indian edition of Extreme American Makeover, and the other is for Dutton’s American hardcover. (The American paperback has yet a third design.)

We thought this was an interesting dot in the “whitewashing” controversy because the American cover depicts the heroine with darker skin than the subsequent Indian cover.

Of course, for US audiences the intriguing premise of the book is the possibility of a foreign-born, “foreign”-looking girl in the White House—hence the flag motifs. The Indian publisher appears to have eschewed the red-white-and-blue iconography in favor of emphasizing glamor that knows no borders. But does that mean pink skin?

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