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Thursday, 22 December 2011

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The Horn Book just sent me editor Roger Sutton’s interview with Daniel Handler on the textual side of Why We Broke Up. I don’t think it’s yet on the web, so this might be a reminder to sign up for the Horn Book’s electronic newsletter.

In any event, at one point Handler (né for book-buying audiences Lemony Snicket) says:
I don’t quite understand what YA literature is. To me it’s the genre where the authors publicly talk the most about the lessons they want to hand down to the reader, even more so than in picture books, I’d say. It seems like everybody who's writing a book for a fifteen-year-old is trying to save a particular kind of fifteen-year-old from a particular kind of thing.
That’s just not true. There’s a whole ’nother kind of YA lit whose valuable lesson about life is reassuring a fifteen-year-old that others are going through a particular kind of thing just like them, so they don’t need saving.

(Unless, of course, the “particular kind of thing” is the adolescent belief that nobody is suffering just like them, that everyone else in high school is having more fun than they are.)

But does Why We Broke Up at the end offer a sense of hope?


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