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The 2019 Aspen Words Literary Prize shortlist (clockwise from top left): There There, by Tommy Orange; Friday Black, by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah; An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones; Brother, by David Chariandy; and Gun Love, by Jennifer Clement. Courtesy of the publisher/Photo illustration by NPR hide caption

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Courtesy of the publisher/Photo illustration by NPR

Books stacked in a library. The Romance Writers Association issued a statement earlier this week criticizing their own history of excluding black authors from RITA prizes. Guillermo Legaria/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Guillermo Legaria/AFP/Getty Images

The Billion-Dollar Romance Fiction Industry Has A Diversity Problem

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Hilary Mantel, winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, poses with her prize shortly after the award ceremony in London Tuesday. Mantel, won the 50,000 British pounds (approximately $80,000) prize with her book Bring up the Bodies. Lefteris Pitarakis/AP hide caption

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Lefteris Pitarakis/AP