Friday, December 7, 2012

Article in the ALAN Review

I have just found out that my article "Writing Bridges: How Writers Scaffold Mature Content in YA Literature" will be published in the Winter (2013) issue of The ALAN Review. I wrote the article in part as a response to Meghan Cox Gurdon's much publicized discussion in The Wall Street Journal, where she determined recent YA literature to be too dark and too mature for young adult readers. Writers, librarians, readers, and other lovers of YA literature responded to the article, taking Cox Gurdon to task for her generalization and assumption that dark and mature material is too much for contemporary teen readers to handle. One of my favorite responses was written by Sherman Alexie, who said:

"When I think of the poverty-stricken, sexually and physically abused, self-loathing Native American teenager that I was, I can only wish, immodestly, that I’d been given the opportunity to read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Or Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak. Or Chris Lynch’s Inexusable. Or any of the books that Ms. Gurdon believes to be irredeemable. I can’t speak for other writers, but I think I wrote my YA novel as a way of speaking to my younger, irredeemable self."
My article looks at the way new novels for teens - particularly, Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan, Going Bovine by Libba Bray, and The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith - use mature content that is consistent with the complexity of language, style, and form. These new novels present content that may challenge readers, but that content is paired with a sophisticated form that mirrors many literary and canonical articles. 

No comments:

Post a Comment