Friday, June 10, 2011

V.S. Naipaul, Videos, Vampires: Round Up

Friday round up with Laura:

It's been a while, friends and foes, but I'm back—with tons of important book news. Most important: have you seen the Breaking Dawn trailer? It's... well, I dunno, it's fine? I know Mitt Romney is excited, even if we're not all in agreement about whether or not lit professors should read Twilight. If you're looking for book-to-movie trailers, I can also provide I Don't Know How She Does It, the trailer, the trailer for Mr. Popper's Penguins, a True Blood sneak peek, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, trailer edition. I've also got the best and worst book trailers.

For those who'd rather not waste half an hour on videos (although why not? It's Friday!), I've got a cup full of controversy for you. First was the case of V.S. Naipaul v. women, where Naipaul holds that women can't write. And it must be true, because a man said it. QED, society. Heck, I'm not even writing this, I'm dictating to a typing chimp who edits for me. A male chimp, of course. Then again, the chimp bombed this quiz of guess what gender wrote this, so what does he know?

The other shenanigan wagon was the whole "is YA too dark?" article. To which I say: as long as Jaycee Duggard's abduction, captivity, and innumerable rapes are on the 6 o'clock news, no, it isn't. Problem solved. Or, if you'd prefer more arguments, here you go. If you need a little more direction, here's what Toni Morrison has to say about life, what Junot Diaz has to say about the apocalypse, and what his editor had to say to Roald Dahl. Also, a bonus: what text punctuation says about you.

So check our your periodic table of storytelling, get your Angry Birds cookbook, and I'll see you next week!


  1. YA is too dark. There, I said it. I couldn't even read the descriptions of the books in the article.

    So much is touted as sacred in the name of freedom from censorship that it often goes without being said that we're not free to read, watch and say whatever the hell we want if we're not free not to.

    And if you followed that circular logic, then you're probably also wondering-- as I am-- why the text punctuation article didn't include the em dash.

    A super weekend to each and every. Peace out.


  2. I completely agree on the YA (non)issue! YA fiction could never be as dark as real life. People really need to get a grip!

  3. I checked out your link on best and worst book trailers ---- and I think it's misnamed. No doubt, those are the worst book trailers ever. Gag. My only hope is that the ones labeled with "positive" awards were awarded their "titles" in sarcasm.
    But thanks for the lesson on "HOW NOT TO MAKE A BOOK TRAILER."

  4. Oh, and Suze, if you haven't even read the book descriptions, let alone the actual books, on what do you base your opinion?
    Lots of books are too dark for me personally, but I make that judgment call by reading at least part of them.

  5. On the topic of YA fiction, I haven't read a lot of the genre but when I browse the section and read the back of some of these books I am a little shocked at the gruesomeness I find. And now I'm especially shocked having read the descriptions in the Wall Street Journal article.
    I know the entire genre isn't like that, but there is some really horrific stuff out there. I guess the question is that if that's the majority of what's offered is that ok? I get wanting to relate to teens who've gone through some really awful things in their life, but that's not the only audience out there. Some of them are just "normal" teens struggling with the stuff every teen does: self esteem, sexual identity, sexual desire, body image, etc. And I don't see a lot of fiction being offered to these audiences.
    I don't want to ban, that's not what I'm saying. But I think there's room for a bit more variety in this genre than what is being seen at the moment.