April 03, 2007

In the Spotlight: Authors With Opinions

QUITE an insane discussion I found via Fuse #8 -- Good grief, and I thought I was vastly annoyed yesterday! Yet another adult author has a pile of opinions about young adult and children's literature. Some of her more breathtaking comments are:

"What I really look at with horror is the women who are volunteering to be very concerned about children's literature. It's too much of a gender stereotype and is also part of the field that rarely amounts to much." Further, she states, "YA books are for the average readers, rarely for the readers who'll continually [sic] passionate reading as adults." She continues, "The ideal children's book has lots of hidden passages in it, and dream states that can be due to drugs, and powerful women who eat little boys and girls. No parent would ever buy it for a child. Maybe librarians would?"

Uh, what?
Let's see... was there any group she missed insulting with her generalizations? YA writers? Librarians? YA readers? Young Adults? Parents? Children? No?

The Web allows for everyone to have an equal opinion... and thus Ms. Orr has stated hers, as is her right. While it may be true that some authors write about their ideal of childhood more than about any reality, I simply don't concede any of this person's points, especially not those that imply that we as women sit around trying to shape and form the civilized world for children, shoving romance and home down their wee throats, but leaving out reality, brutality and sexuality - because obviously we don't see or experience any of that, being only girls and all. What kind of circuitous logic is that?! Simply because she writes for adults does she somehow exclude herself from that grasping, sly womanly author number?

I also must point out that those "average" YA readers who actually read will go on reading if they have something TO READ that whets their appetite as a young adult... obviously, this person doesn't quite get how the whole reading-as-young-adults thing works. Maybe she was born forty-five.

Feh. Enough.

Chasing Ray's article on YA adventure novels for Eclectica blends nicely with my current reading material... I have to say Kenneth Oppel's Airborne, which I enjoyed last night (book review to follow soon) is indeed an adventure. Also, as always I urge you to read Colleen's Bookslut in Training -- this month it's kind of boys-to-men books, books where boys come of age, and will efficiently help you pull together your list of holds from your local library, and add to the To Be Read stack next to your bed.

Somewhere it's national Macaroon week, two friends of mine mentioned just craving them. Enjoy one, and read today's random National Poetry Month pick; this is the first poem I learned to recite aloud in about the second grade:

Some primal termite knocked on wood
And tasted it, and found it good,
And that is why your Cousin May
Fell through the parlor floor today.

Ah, the silliness of Ogden Nash always puts me in a better mood.
And back to work...


DaviMack said...

"The ideal children's book has lots of hidden passages in it, and dream states that can be due to drugs, and powerful women who eat little boys and girls."

Let's see ... those hidden passages? How does she propose they get printed? 'Cause unless I'm mistaken, they don't do magic ink in mass publication. And dream states due to drugs? Does she propose that they incorporate blotter paper into the front cover? Something like a single-use LSD trip included with every copy? And the whole powerful women eating boys and girls? I'm thinking that you don't really want to examine this any further whatsoever.

Where do you find these people?

Oh. Yeah. The Internet. Where you can find anything.

C.K. said...

You did better a job digesting this material than I did. Honestly, I had a difficult time understanding what she was trying to say but then again I have no lingering thoughts of Babar's butt so maybe I'm just falling into a gender stereotype lump?