Zhao's fantasy novel 'Blood Heir' has been postponed

Chinese author Amelie Wen Zhao is under fire for “anti-black” racism in her fantasy novel Blood Heir.

As reported by SCMP, Chinese author Amelie Wen Zhao has had her novel Blood Heir postponed due to allegations of racism.

Blood Heir is the first book of the Beijing author’s highly anticipated fantasy trilogy. Set in the fictional Cyrilian Empire, the book includes themes of human slavery, supposedly presenting a world in which “oppression is blind to skin colour.” The novel was scheduled for June.

Fantasy author LL McKinney tweeted that the book was “anti-black”, rejecting the idea that oppression could be colorblind.

In a statement on Twitter, Zhao addressed the criticism and apologized for any offence she may have caused, adding that the novel drew on her Asian heritage.

“The issues … in the story represent a specific critique of the epidemic of indentured labour and human trafficking prevalent in many industries across Asia, including in my own home country,” wrote Zhao. “The narrative and history of slavery in the United States is not something I can, would, or intended to write, but I recognise that I am not writing in merely my own cultural context.”

She added that she has “decided to ask [her] publisher not to publish Blood Heir at this time”.

Random House Children’s Books, Zhao’s publisher, issued a statement on Thursday saying: “We respect Amelie’s decision, and look forward to continuing our publishing relationship with her.”

Zhao was born in Paris, raised in Beijing and attended college in New York.