A familiar face in today’s paper
The way we were; The American author John Green writes big books for youths. Thus about and for all of us
“It’s not bad to have never heard of John Green, if you are older than 15, anyway. John Green writes books for 15 year olds. At first glance. At second glance John Green is one of the most important American writers of the present day. Because he writes for 15 year olds. Namely books that in turn have no age at all, that somehow hover over the present time, so you could not say in which year they are set, just the moment that begins and never stops: the one when you become self-aware.”
Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, 22.05.2011 [German, excerpt translated]
(submitted by michaelbaer)
I like the part where he calls me one of the most important contemporary American writers. I love this reporter. He is my favorite reporter ever.
I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal about the “depraved” state of YA novels…
I just spent several hours in the library snagging and cooing over relevant materials, and oh lordy, I don’t know if I can wait more than a year to write this thing.
I need to start narrowing my focus. Right now I’m thinking:
I’m thinking I want to include John Green, Markus Zuzak, Sherman Alexie, M. T. Anderson, probably Suzanne Collins, Laurie Halse Anderson, Phillip Pullman, Lois Lowry, Avi, Walter Dean Myers… so many. And looking through all these bibliographies is reminding me how many of these books I haven’t read yet (Judy Blume and S.E. Hinton most of all).
Gah. Despite all the stuff I need to figure out, I cannot wait to get started.
I believe that as writers and educators, we have a shared responsibility to give teenagers every opportunity to encounter everything that books can do.
This is the business, right? It is not just reading for the sake of reading. Literacy is important. Literacy is vital, but literacy is not the finish line. Literature is not just in the business of See Jane Run. Literature is in the business of helping us to imagine ourselves and others more complexly, of connecting us to the ancient conversation about how to live as a person in a world full of other people.
This is beautiful.