Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Throwing Shade at YA
Ruth Graham in her article Against YA chides adults who read YA for their lack of sophistication and intellectual rigor. After I read her article the first thing that popped into my head was Ruth Graham shaking her fist at me while yelling "Get off my lawn!" And being a YA author I was offended by her blunt and disparaging remarks of a genre I had chosen to write me first novel in. However I'm a mature adult, father, and author so I attempted to craft a few labyrinthine responses that articulated my feelings. Unfortunately the only thing I could write that had any panache was 'Your momma!' Frustrated I re-read the article and realized that my initial synopsis was wrong. Ruth wasn't besmirching all adults for reading YA but rather for not evolving their taste to more substantive literature. She was basically saying that YA should be a gateway drug that opens up doors to the hard core stuff like John Steinbeck and I actually feel her on this. Anyone who enjoys to read must experience the beautiful prose of Toni Morrison or the passion of Richard Wright. Which immediately made me feel better because I rationalized Ruth wasn't referring to me. She was referring to the intellectual fortitude of all you other day dreamers. I like Ruth after having gorged on YA in my youth require something more substantive to appease my literary appetite. You see me and my new homie Ruth are made of sterner stuff. Feeling enlightened and armed with the knowledge that I kinda sort of agreed with a person taken seriously in literary circles, aim to share my new found wisdom to the ignorant masses as soon as I finish writing my 2nd YA novel. But I still can't get the image of Ruth shaking her fist at me out of my head.