Monday, October 24, 2011

What Started It All, a haphazard meditation on something, Part 1 of 5

I came across this keruffle and found myself giving it a lot of thought.  The gist is that some authors believe that there is a thing that needs to be addressed in YA publishing: 

"The usual protagonist of a YA sf/fantasy novel is a heterosexual white girl or boy with no disabilities or mental/neurological issues, no stated religion, and no specific ethnicity. Reading and reviewing novels whose characters break that mold in other ways would also be a step forward."

Quite interesting, I thought, and right on.  I have nothing wrong with the usual protagonists; I just think that when I read non-standard protagonists, I really like them.  Stoner & Spaz by Koertge comes to mind and The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Farmer.  Don't forget Paterson's Sign of the Chrysanthemum or even Libba Bray's Going Bovine.  Different times, different places, different mental spaces: these are things I can only experience in books.  I love me some usual, but I also love me some unusual.

So there was that kerfuffle and rebuttals and comments and more rebuttals.  There are some great lists, too.  Feel free to get lost in it if you'd like, but be sure to come back for part 2 of this meditation where I think about religion and diversity and integrity.

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