In Blog

It’s amazing to me how this whole Kaavya Viswanathan story just will not go away: every day there is another news story about it with some new revelation. I haven’t really commented for several reasons. One, I know Megan McCafferty, which means I don’t really have an unbiased opinion to begin with: I think she’s a great author, and I’m truly bummed out that all this is happening to her when she SHOULD be enjoying the success of Charmed Thirds, her first NYT Bestseller and a great book to boot. Second, I was traveling when the story broke, and therefore haven’t read up enough on it to really write about it in depth. But I do have to say that it’s bothersome that in the midst of all this, there are an awful lot of bad things being said about YA fiction—jump over to zeisgeist, where Lara gives just one example of the blogosphere reaction—-i.e. that it is ALL formulaic and the same, and therefore, somehow, this isn’t such a big deal. (Edit: I wasn’t saying LARA was saying these things, just that she brought them to my attention. Big difference! Sorry for the confusion.)

Well. I have to say I disagree. Why is it that just because you write for teenagers, your books are automatically pegged as derivative or Not Literary, or even, Not Important? I just don’t get it. And how about giving some of the vast space devoted to this scandal to even a fleeting mention of the good books in the genre that are NOT put together by book packagers or written by committee? I know, it’s the scandal that sells papers, the scandal people want to hear about. But I feel like the byproduct of all the publicity is that YA books, and the people who write them, are getting disparaged just because it makes good copy. And that seems kind of lame. To me, anyway.

Look, like I said before, I’m not informed enough to really speak to this, and I am FAR from the kind of person who feels comfortable hopping up on a soapbox about anything. (Other than television and, um, celebrities. Which is kind of different. I think.) This blog has always been about pop culture, and innane daily events, and I think we all like it that way. But it has been bothering me to see YA knocked around like this, so I felt like I had to say something. Maybe it wasn’t enough, or too much. But at least it’s something.

On a related note, if you’re interested in serious, well-read literary opinion, check out Peder Zane’s new blog, which I’m sure has or will cover this issue in a much better way than I ever could. Peder is the editor of the book page where I occasionally write reviews, and probably the best read person I’ve ever met in my life. Most of our conversations, in fact, involve him referencing articles in The Atlantic Monthly, or The New Yorker, which he assumes I’ve read, while my secret shame is that I really subscribe to things like Us Weekly and EW. But whatever. Here’s hoping he writes something about this whole plagarism scandal, because whatever he comes up with, you know it will be worth reading.

Alright, enough ranting. Like I said, that’s not why you come here, right? It’s more for stuff like…

…there’s a new Gilmore Girls tonight. I’m plodding my way through Tom Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simmons, which is compelling but LOOONG. And yes, that jello mold is still in my fridge. More breaking news—as it were—as I get it……

have a good day, everyone!
hit counter script