Another YA brouhaha

July 22nd, 2008 • Kate

There’s another brohaha brewing on the interwebs about Margo Rabb’s essay in The New York Times about her book being labeled as YA, and the assumed stigma that comes along with it, quoting a number of writers of both adult and children’s books. Justine Larbalestier wrote about the “stigma”, disagreeing with many of the points Rabb raised. I think it’s telling that Rabb picked authors like James Patterson to quote, which seems an easy agreement to her point, especially since the Times has written before about Patterson’s horror at the sales of his books when they were shelved only in the teen section.
There’s also A.M. Holmes, who Rabb quotes as saying “Young people will find an adult book, but it doesn’t work the other way.” And excuse me for saying so, but doesn’t that tell you something amazing about teens? They will go seek out the best books they can find, no matter where they’re shelved, while adults apparently need seeing eye dogs like The New York Times to find their way to good books to read. Good on teens, I say!
The more telling interview, I think, is with Sherman Alexie, and while I know I’ve heard his words before, having been fortunate enough to hear him speak at BEA, they’re words well worth repeating:

A lot of people have no idea that right now Y.A. is the Garden of Eden of literature.

YA writers, do feel free to go forth and multiply!

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3 Responses to “Another YA brouhaha”

  1. Justine Larbalestier Says:

    For the record I don't disagree with Margo at all. She was writing about her own experience of how she was published as YA even though she though her book was adult, but wound up loving it. My experience is different.
    Margo did, in fact, interview many YA writers for the article but many of those quotes were cut by the NYT editors. She's posting them on her blog.

  2. Electric Landlady Says:

    I feel so sorry for my fellow adults when the bookstore police leap from behind the shelves and bar their way to the YA section. *shakes head sadly*

  3. Kate Says:

    Another great YA writer, Laini Taylor, jumps in on the same topic here.