6/6/11

owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
-I finished The Female Man, which is quite possibly the oddest novel I have ever read. I've become more and more disenchanted with the dictum, "If you want to send a message, use Western Union" -- by the way, are we ever going to update that? Is the next generation going to know what a Western Union is?

As story, it's not traditionally structured, the points of view are often slippery, it's hard to find a clear through-line to the plot -- but as philosophy, it's tremendous, and it does a lot of things it wouldn't have been able to do as nonfiction or polemical lecture.

There's no such thing as story in a vacuum, story with no moral center. It's just that there are some stories where the viewpoint seems so self-evident and natural to the reading audience that it slips down without any argument. Which is why the classic feminist SF novels are called anvilicious and the classic SF novels that just barely have speaking parts for women aren't.

-Needless to say, I am rolling my eyes at this article in the Wall Street Journal on "dark" YA books.

Any article that conflates the action-adventure violence of The Hunger Games, the realistic darkness of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and the melodrama sensationalism of melodrama-sensationalistic problem novels is profoundly uninterested in what teens are actually reading, not to mention the hows and whys of their reading.

Mostly, I'm not interested in homeopathic bibliotherapy: you are sad about X, so here is a book about X. I think the books that come out of that kind of philosophy are often bad books. But I am with Nisi Shawl. The books that you want to read are the books that are going to nourish you, often in ways you don't fully understand. And to fence off any topic or theme as not appropriate for young adults, I think, gets in the way of that.
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
So apparently my book is out in the Netherlands now. I just got the copies from my editor and I am rather delighted by these characters talking at each other in Dutch. Maybe this is because I'm well acquainted with just how much time and effort goes into making a translation?

Anyway, exciting!

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