readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Writers lie.


Over at rgz we are chatting with Jennifer about A Northern Light. I just posted a thread to get discussion going on this quote:

"I have read so many books, and not one of them tells the truth about babies. Dickens doesn't. Oliver's mother just dies in childbirth and that's that. Bronte doesn't. Catherine Earnshaw just has her daughter and that's that. There's no blood, no sweat, no pain, no fear, no heat, no stink.

Writers are damned liars. Every single one of them."

I love this so much! And then the following passage about Minnie giving birth is incredibly real.

Certainly in 1906 writers were restrained, especially in their portrayal of women. Thankfully, we are not so inhibited today. Although there still are a few harnesses left for writing YA, and certainly many more are in place for middle grade novels.

Despite those, I have a driving aim to tell the raw truth. Truly, that was my goal for Loose Threads.


But even when we bust through barriers with publishers, we can still be held back. I was asked at a school visit for Loose Threads not to mention the word "breast" when discussing breast cancer with the fifth graders. I'm-not-kidding.

May we female writers push to tell our stories. Without one lie. To everyone who will listen.



Melissa Walker said...

What a great quote to pull from the book, and a lovely way to illustrate the ways we're still restricted, Lorie Ann!

I have been asked in schools if Violet is a virgin. My goodness! Violet would turn bright read to know people asked about her that way!

Those subtle limits are definitely still there.

sweetmelissa818 said...

I actually started reading Loose Threads this weeks and I'm amazed by how honest it actually is!

Gerb said...

Would that school have you use the word boob instead? Or just plain chest? That's just silly. I wonder how they handle anatomy in health class? : )

Excellent post.

Unknown said...

Wow! That is pretty darn crazy

Little Willow said...

Truthtellers rule.

Unknown said...

Well, I just finished a book called, Notes from the Underbelly and it's sequel Tales from the Crib by Risa Green. It's pretty straightforward on those topics. Check it out.

Reyna Meinhardt said...

Crazy!! Both of the books sound great! Nice quote to!!

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