"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.