owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
I finally finished The Sky Is Everywhere and I loved this book. I literally flipped to the book jacket, saw that the author had an MFA, and instantly developed MFA envy, which I'd practically never had before. The prose is so vivid, influenced by poetry and magic realism, imagery that slips from real to unreal in a way that's almost manga-like.

Caveat: as far as I can tell, everyone in the book is white, straight, and able-bodied. This isn't a flaw in this particular book but in a whole swath of contemporary YA fiction, and I don't particularly want to call out the book on that basis except that I would feel weird saying "Hey everybody read this book" without mentioning it.

What I really wanted to say was this: I'm on the committee at work that is in charge of Mock Printz, so when I finished the book I thought, we should talk about this for the Printz. It's certainly in the top ten or twelve books I've read this year. But then I thought, well, it's not about race and how we narrate history like Octavian Nothing, and it's not about feminism and Foucault like Frankie Landau-Banks, and it's not about dealing with trauma and living in a world that will break your heart like Tender Morsels, it's just about family and love and grief. Just.

And then the Joanna Russ fairy tapped me on the shoulder and said, "You have read How To Suppress Women's Writing, right?"

And I said, "Well, yes, but -- E. Lockhart and Margo Lanagan are women! I'm not suppressing anybody!"

And the Joanna Russ fairy said, "If you think that family and love and grief are not inherently important topics, you might as well put some zombies in your Pride and Prejudice and be done with it."

I maintain that anyone who can make Foucault clear to teenagers in a book that also involves putting bras on lots of things is a super-genius, but she's right. She's the Joanna Russ fairy.

(no subject)

5/11/10 16:39 (UTC)
trouble: Sketch of Hermoine from Harry Potter with "Bookworms will rule the world (after we finish the background reading)" on it (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] trouble
And the Joanna Russ fairy said, "If you think that family and love and grief are not inherently important topics, you might as well put some zombies in your Pride and Prejudice and be done with it."

I like you. :)

(no subject)

5/11/10 17:08 (UTC)
Posted by [personal profile] tangledaxon
I loved The Sky is Everywhere. It felt honest and authentic to me.

(no subject)

7/11/10 19:33 (UTC)
ginny_t: From Saiunkoku Monogatari s1, a cup of tea re-energises Ryuuren (tea will save you)
Posted by [personal profile] ginny_t
And the Joanna Russ fairy said, "If you think that family and love and grief are not inherently important topics, you might as well put some zombies in your Pride and Prejudice and be done with it."

This is absolutely glorious! It is definitely one of my favourite things of last week. ^_^

[personal profile] trouble sent me!

(no subject)

8/11/10 16:22 (UTC)
deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] deborah
I like your Joanna Russ fairy. I'm not saying those other books aren't important and wonderful, but. And, you know, Jellicoe Road is just about family and love and grief, as is Saving Francesca. Looking for Alaska, which isn't even by a woman.

The Printz is great at finding high-quality books that are about Issues, and that's wonderful. But those aren't the only books, and that's not its only mission.

(no subject)

8/4/11 09:03 (UTC)
wordweaverlynn: (russ)
Posted by [personal profile] wordweaverlynn
The Joanna Russ fairy is my favorite thing from this month so far.

(no subject)

8/4/11 13:44 (UTC)
oracne: turtle (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] oracne
I am going to keep an eye out for this Joanna Russ fairy. Maybe I can lure her closer with strawberries or hazelnuts.