Things are going by in a blur! I'm reading like a mad dog for the Cybils, trying to remember to sit down and read through all the paperwork in preparation to vote, launching off into an historical fiction novel, and starting to finalize plans for my non-traditional Thanksgiving by-the-foggy-sea. I took the time to read the paper this weekend, and you'll want to check out The Chronicle's two great articles on National Book Award finalist Gene Yang's graphic novel American Born Chinese.
The Chron's online Asian Pop column has a great author interview as well, and and Yang's nonreaction to finding out he'd placed as a finalist is posted on his blog.
After reading all the pieces, what stuck with me were Yang's comment regarding the state of Asian American culture today. He said, "I think the Asian American community right now is in the midst of defining itself. For a while I think we were all trying to be white. Then there was a period of time when we were trying to be black. And now we're finally coming up with something that's truly our own." That reminded me very much of Justina Chen Headley's Patty Ho character in Nothing But the Truth... at some point, cultural clarity must exist for every child or teen to be truly whole. But getting there -- is tricky. It requires some excellent books and some straight talk. And this cartoon? Reminds me of every interaction I ever had with any new African American student in my predominantly Caucasian school. If we weren't somehow cousins, obviously, we must date. Erg. Someday, someone has to write a YA book about how to balance being okay with people of your own race while completely avoiding them in your junior high classroom. (And incidentally? Sorry, Raymond Brinson... you were an okay guy... Really.)
Kate DiCamillo has warmed a lot of hearts with her middle-grade novels and picture books. In this interview, she talks about her most recent awards and how success has been kind of a surprise. A good surprise, however.
Writers and readers who know the digital revolution has only just begun should be interested in Adobe Digital, a new E-Reader software that will enable readers to better manage their digital publications. Authors on the fence about "someday" looking at their electronic rights should make that 'someday' soon, and start speaking up for retaining those rights; although most publicists, agents and editors claim that there is no YA market for electronic books, they may be in for a shock -- the market is changing.
Don't miss the Guardian Unlimited's interview with Eoin Colfer. Colfer reads a bit from his newest Artemis Fowl book, and shares a clip of his PR tour... which has turned into a sort of comedy tour called Fairies, Fiends and Flatulence during which he kind of waves around his books says, "They're out there, buy them if you like," and simply tells deranged stories. And no, don't ask -- he doesn't know why he's doing it either.
Now, you know how I feel about celebrity authors... and earlier this month, yet another pecked her way through the non-literary shell and was hatched. That being said, All Hail the Queen... I give up. I will now officially state that Everyone has the right to endlessly reinvent themselves... and if their latest invention is children's author, so mote it be. Further, until I actually read their books, I will reserve my snark.
But STILL! Could they all STOP now!?