Re: Young adult writers get serious
- (I will admit I am wary of YA fiction. What you might get past an
editor might get a bunch of nuts out in PalinLand all excited and you
might start getting death threats.
The Judy Blume case for example.
I guess it is a challenge to do something within the parameters...)
--- In SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com, "ravenadal" <ravenadal@...>
> YA fiction is perplexing because some YA fiction is more adult than
> so-called adult fiction. I am currently reading a YA novel called
> "Octavian Nothing" that is more interesting and challenging, in
> language and subject matter, than anything I have read in adultadult
> fiction this year. Further, I don't believe "Nothing," a novel that
> has won several YA book awards, would have been published as an
> I mention, again, my one bite at the golden apple of big house
> publishing (Knopf) where it was suggested that my (still)
> manuscript, "The World Ebon," despite the sex, violence andlanguage,
> might work better as a YA novel. In fact, the only suggestionKnopf's
> YA editor made was that the novel was two long and might workbetter
> as two novels.http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/Young+adult+writers+serious/
> At the time I considered YA fiction a literary ghetto. Now, I am
> starting to rethink the entire proposition.
> --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com, "brent wodehouse"
> <brent_wodehouse@> wrote:
> > Young adult writers get serious
> > By Eric Volmers
> > As a teacher, outdoor enthusiast and young adult novelist, it's
> > that James Davidge would dream up a villain whose most dastardly
> deed is
> > getting young people hooked on video games.
> > In Driftwood Ellesmere, the 2006 debut of Davidge's Driftwood
> > starry-eyed children fall under the spell of a mythical monster
> > corporate ambitions that uses tiny hand-held video games toenslave
> > Driftwood, a young girl who grew up in isolation, but has a knack
> > using magical powers to solve the world's woes, must help free the
> > addicted children while dealing with her own painful past and
> > history. But the plot line, while perhaps in tune with thatauthor's
> > on Game Boy addicts, was not simply a jab at the video game
> > Davidge says. It has deeper symbolism.
> > "There is a moment in the book where there is this dialogue about
> > he says.
> > "It's about our consumer culture and how it is motivated by what
> > supposed to save us time, but ends up costing us time. It's thatconsumers:
> > purpose of materialism and we are drawn to both sides as
> > what gives us time, uses up time. These video games kill time for
> > The Calgary author has since released two more Driftwood books,
> which has
> > the teen coming face-to-face with some troubling, topical issues.
> > Driftwood's Crusade, the young magician attempts to free childArts
> > enslaved on a cocoa farm. In Driftwood Saves the Whales (Bayeux
> > 200 pages, $10.95), she...well, saves the whales. But she also
> becomes a
> > celebrity and attempts to block the production of Driftwood
> > that promote "negative self images."
> > It all seems somewhat weighty for books that, while originally
> marketed to
> > teens, have also found an audience among kids aged eight to 12.
> > Driftwood's dalliances into magic and teen romance shows an
> > to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, the bespectacled boy
> has hadyou
> > a wider influence than mere plot points on the lucrative young
> > market. Rowling -- whose children's book The Tales of Beedle the
> > comes out Thursday -- opened up a whole new audience of readers
> hungry for
> > complex plots, interesting characters and serious issues. But
> > tough topics is not new to youth fiction.
> > "I think young readers get excited by that," says Davidge. "If
> look atthat
> > the original text of Pinocchio in the 19th century, you'll see
> it wasto
> > very much looking at the social issues at the time. It's not new
> > literature. Look at Grimm Fairy Tales, they are designed to scare
> but they
> > also offer social commentary."
> > There are other significant challenges to writing for the youth
> > not the least of which is figuring who exactly fits into the loose
> > definition of "young adult."
> > Books written under that banner can appeal to kids as young as
> > as old as 18.
> > "This whole genre thing is perhaps more about marketing," says
> > Alta., author Lisa Hurst-Archer, whose first novel How to Make a
> Wave (Red
> > Deer Press, 223 Pages, $12.95) is being sold as a young adult
> > I wrote How to Make a Wave, I wasn't really thinking of it as a
> book. I13
> > was thinking of it as a story. I was writing a story to myself at
> yearsage. A
> > old. It was something I would have liked to have read at that
> > of what is considered YA novels are crossing into adult fiction."
> > How to Make a Wave is about a lonely teenager who has been
> disfigured by a
> > car accident and is forced to confront some uncomfortable truths
> about her
> > family.
> > Like the Driftwood series, it deals with difficult topics. Issues
> > self-image and isolation make the novel a fitting story for youngin
> > who are in that often painful and humiliating process of "finding
> > themselves" and forging their own identity. Kids are looking for
> > that doesn't flinch from the hard questions and choices involved
> > growing up, says Hurst-Archer, a mother of five whose home oftenat
> became a
> > meeting place for teens as her children grew up.
> > "Those young people are so hungry for authentic engagement about
> what it
> > means to be human," she says. "This isn't Miley Cyrus or Britney
> > Authors have responded by taking stories down some dark and
> > roads, says Peter Carver, an editor at the now Toronto-based Red
> > Press, who oversees its growing list of titles for children and
> > adults. Topics that may have been taboo even 10 years ago are now
> > up in young adult fiction.
> > Martine Leavitt's 2004 novel Heck Superhero captured a Governor-
> > award with its tough, gritty tale about a homeless teen.
> > Toronto author Kristyn Dunnion's recent novel Mosh Pit deals with
> > kids and lesbianism.
> > "It's very raw and beautifully written," says Carver. "It's
> > but gritty. And I really think kids are ready to deal with that
> > Often, adults don't want them to."
> > Which, Carver admits, can make marketing these titles difficult
> > School boards may not be ready to embrace books about lesbianism,
> > makes getting the more raw titles onto school curricula difficult.
> > But savvy kids will track the books down if they have to, Carver
> > "Mosh Pit found its way, not only in Canada but across the States
> > well," he says. "There are networks of kids who are looking forgood
> > books."through
> > And those books have to be authentic, he said. Kids can see
> > attempts to imitate how they talk, think and feel.
> > "You have to rediscover that voice of when you were 14 years
> > Carver. "You are trying to remember that age when you were
> > highly opinionated and everything is fresh and raw. And writerswho
> can do
> > that are truly talented."
> > © Copyright (c) Canwest News Service