Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘lit and sanity’

Shop Talk |

Does YA fiction lead to dark thoughts, or do dark thoughts lead to YA fiction?

Which came first, the moody teen, or the YA fiction that moody teens often gravitate towards? Linda Holmes of NPR responds to a recent Wall Street Journal editorial that criticized YA fiction for being “too dark”: I’m more intrigued by the aspirational nature of the quaint but sad idea that teenagers, if you don’t give them The Hunger Games, can be effectively surrounded by images of joy and beauty. While the WSJ piece refers to the YA fiction view of the world as a funhouse mirror, I fear that what’s distorted is the vision of being a teenager that suggests […]

Shop Talk |

Open a book, become someone else

A Lithuanian bookstore has created a gorgeous campaign called “Become Someone Else” (“Pabū kuo nors kitu”) showing the transformative power of books. The Love Agency, the advertising firm that created the campaign, has all of the images up online. (Via GalleyCat.) And there’s evidence that books have literal (ha ha) transformative powers as well. A study in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine finds “each increasing quartile of print media use was associated with a 50% decrease in the odds of having MDD,” or major depressive disorder. In other words, the more teens read, the less likey they were […]

Interviews |

Stalking the Inner Celestial: An Interview with Michael Byers

Michael Shilling’s interview with Percival’s Planet author Michael Byers delves into the fascinating characters – both historical and imagined – that populate Byers’ novel, which deals with the 1930s discovery of Pluto. Shilling says, “Reminiscent of such lightweights as James and Welty, Byers’ work shines with studied and infuried illuminations of the imperfect spirit; he can map out this process of inner grappling with a lovely, intense, and disciplined artistry.”

Reviews |

Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives, by Brad Watson

There are no zombies or vampires in Brad Watson’s new collection, Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives (W.W. Norton, 2010), but there are plenty of folks who act like they’re either dead or from another planet. And, yes, many of Watson’s characters are “aliens”—not green creatures with large heads, but alienated, isolated. They are people who wander through life without an anchor, who don’t feel the pull of gravity.