This an’ that

Read this article in the New York Times about art by the stolen generation. Gorgeous, gorgeous work produced under the most appalling circumstances.

The Picker Art Gallery
“Down to Drink,” by Parnell Dempster.

Australian young adult writers are conquering the entire universe. I was dead proud that Magic or Madness had already sold in five countries (USA, Australia, Taiwan, France, and Thailand), now I see that I’m underachieving. This article by Rosemary Neill is also startling because it’s so well-researched. It’s refreshing to read something in a mainstream news source about publishing and actually learn something. Via Yoof Literature (thanks, Lili!).

Speaking of research . . . Did anyone else watch the NBC so-called “news” report on the shocking new content of teen novels which aired Monday night? I watched it because R. A. Nelson who wrote Teach Me was interviewed. He spoke for about six seconds. The report consisted of people saying, “Look at the cover of this YA book!” Cut to cover of Gossip Girl or the like. “This book has shocking content! Should we let our children read books with shocking content?” Cut to a parent. “I’m shocked that my children are reading books with shocking content!” Cut to some random other person who is also “Shocked! Shocked by teen books with shocking content!” The 2 minute report ended with an admonition to parents to be wary of the shocking, shocking, shocking content of teen books.

I hadn’t watched “news” on television for ages and I gotta tell you I was shocked, shocked, shocked by the “content” of that report too!


  1. Jason Erik Lundberg on #

    I could absolutely tell just from the promos for the “segment” that it would be unabashedly biased “news” instead of an actual researched story. I love the tagline that went something like, “If teens are reading these books, how is that helping anybody?” Morons.

  2. mely on #

    Oh, that picture is gorgeous. Thank you for the pointer.

  3. razorbilly on #

    poor r.a.

    it was a complete setup. in addition, the quote was taken out of context — he was speaking of kids maturing as READERS, about the wonderful richness of upper-end YA fiction preparing them for the adult side of the store, and the way they positioned it, it sounded as if he was speaking of bringing up a new crop of “ho’s.”

  4. razorbilly on #

    utterly gorgeous artwork, j. thanks for posting.

    and congrats on all those sales! you’ve written an amazing book. completely fresh and breaks new ground.

  5. razorbilly on #

    Okay, Justine….I told Liesa it was time to come clean…I am R.A. Nelson.

    I love your blog. I haven’t started one for various reasons, but may do so in the near future….

    Please tell Scott I really enjoyed SO YESTERDAY, too. Fun!!

  6. Justine on #

    Welcome, Mr Nelson!

    I had been wondering who of the Razorbill crew you were, having already eliminated all the ones I know as possibilities. If only you hadn’t mentioned the NBC report we wouldn’t have guessed!

    So pleased you liked my book. Yours sure is amazing.

  7. Justine on #

    Jason: I really was shocked by it. I guess that comes of not watching TV news (other than the Daily Show). I couldn’t quite believe what I was watching. how could reporting be so incoherent and stupid? Morons, indeed.

    Mely: I know. I was just blown away by how beautiful it is. The plate further down in the report is also extraordinary. If only I had the time I’d go see the full exhibition.

  8. Gwinevere on #

    A lot of people (including myself) are really upset about this report. I am formulating my letter and will send it soon with my reaction to this piece. It was so one sided and inaccurate. They should apologise for basically slandering the whole YA market.

    Here is the link to the article: along with the e-mail address of the reporter. We can not sit back and let NBC get away with biased reporting.

    Jennifer offered her letter up on her August 16th blog

    Unfortunately, I fear parents who do not know better will influence their teens to STOP reading YA due to this news spot. Maybe with enough letters we can get a retraction or second look at whats really in the YA market.

  9. Justine on #

    Gwinevere: thanks for the links. Literaticat’s letter is most excellent. Here’s hoping it will lead to a less moronic future report, but I won’t be holding my breath.

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