J K Rowling has pledged £5,000 towards Nikesh Shukla’s The Good Immigrant, an anthology on race and immigration which is being hosted on crowd-funding site Unbound.
Rowling's pledge will see her name printed in the front of the book and earn her the title of patron of the project. She will also receive a signed first edition paperback and e-book version of the anthology.
Rowling tweeted: “I think this will be an important, timely read. Help fund The Good Immigrant.”
In response, Unbound tweeted: "To clarify; yes we did just receive a v generous pledge for @nikeshshukla's The Good Immigrant from @jk_rowling. Great day for a great book!"
Shukla told The Bookseller: "I'm just so overwhelmed with the response to the book. It shows that the need for emerging BAME voices is so needed. And I'm glad to see people like the young people I work with in Bristol pledging alongside such amazing heroes like J K Rowling. It's inspiring. And it shows we are all desperate for these voices. Thank you so much to J K. She has been a hero of mine for years. Ten points to Gryffindor."
Intended to “make a positive and vital contribution to the national debate", The Good Immigrant will feature 15 emerging British black, Asian and minority ethnic writers, poets, journalists and artists including Himesh Patel, Bim Adewunmi, Chimene Suleyman, Vinay Patel, Musa Okwonga and Kieran Yates.
The essays will "paint a picture of what it means to be ‘other’ in a country that wants you, doesn’t want you, doesn’t accept you, needs you for its equality monitoring forms and would prefer you if you won a major reality show competition" and will explore “why we come here, why we stay, what it means for our identity if we’re mixed race, where our place is in the world if we’re unwelcome in the UK, and what effects this has on the education system. By examining popular culture, family, profession and the arts, we will be looking at diversity and questioning what this concept even means anymore.”
The project launched on Tuesday 1st December and is currently 85% funded.