When The Wall Street Journal recently featured an editorial called Darkness too visible, the title may have given a clue as to where the author, Meghan Cox Gurdon, was coming from.
No, she is not a fan of the ‘issue’ novel. Gurdon thinks young adult fiction is “ever-more-appalling”, it goes into ‘stomach-clenching detail” and it should not deal with issues like self-harm because it only encourages people to start cutting themselves. Young adults that is. Adults are never influenced by books so we don’t need to worry about them.
Cue lots of young people who actually read these books (gladdening an old librarian’s heart – they are reading) to take to their blogs and twitter accounts (#YAsaves trend) to describe how books saved them from despair.
Last week Laraine commented on the Ms list – “As a teenager I loathed books that rubbed my nose in my problems. I read to “get me outa here!” In other words, I wanted something as different from my life as possible.”
What do you think? Do you have a favourite ‘issue’ novel? Or should authors stay away from the darker side of life?
Our Christchurch timeline is a neat guide to Today in history. I noticed that today – Monday 20 June – in 1928 the Canterbury Aero Club was formed. It mentions “The first pilot trained by the club was a woman, Aroha Clifford. She may have been New Zealand’s first woman pilot.”
The NZ Truth article Eve takes to the air reports “… to Miss Aroha Clifford, daughter of Mr Walter Clifford, and niece of Sir George, goes the honor of being the first-aero, club trained woman to pilot a ‘plane solo”. The New Zealand Film Archive has newsreel footage of Aroha and mentions “Clifford had plans to fly from England to Australia and bought an Avro Avian in England for that very purpose. However, because of her father’s opposition she was forced to abandon this ambition”.