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Thursday, December 3, 2009

December: In the shadow of fame

Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce

Aly is the daughter of Alanna, the protagonist of Pierce's first novel and subsequent series, the Song of the Lioness quartet. Can you imagine what it would be like to be the child of a famous person? How would that help or hinder you?


Lorie Ann Grover said...

I think it really affords the child the chance to move in the parents' circle and meet amazing people that could significantly change the child's life.

However, the child might then also take the entire scene for granted and never understand the gift.

All of that aside, Aly's struggle with her mother's fame was so honest and real to me!

Erin said...

Hmm...depends on how famous you mean. And what kind of parents they were. There are cons and pros.

Priya said...

Ditto Erin. And I think that having famous parents could be helpful because you would have so much more access to everything as well as way more opportunities.

But it would be weird to go to school with bodyguards (if your parents were really famous but still let you go to public school). And if someone wanted to be your friend, you wouldn't know if they really wanted to get to know you, or if they just wanted to take advantage of your fame.

Dia Calhoun said...

I loved Aly's personal quest to both love her mother and yet be independent. There is much to be said for wanting to succeed on your own merit rather than because you are the child of a famous person. And yet . . . doors are important. A famous parent can open doors for her child. It is up to the child to walk through the door.

Melissa Walker said...

I dated the son of a famous writer in college, and I know it haunted him a little bit. He was/is a writer too. I watched his struggle and saw it as somewhat dark, mostly because other people gave him little credit for his own merit--everything was in the shadow of his dad's work.

I remember thinking I was glad that wasn't me.

Tamora Pierce said...

Margaret Emerson White does a great job with the subject with her President's Daughter books, starting with WHITE HOUSE AUTUMN: Meg is used to her mom being political, but when her mom runs for, and wins, the presidency, it's a whole `nother ball game, and the security alone makes her crazy. That aspect is shone brilliantly in my favorite book of the series, LONG LIVE THE QUEEN, in which Meg is kidnapped by hirelings who were bought by enemies of the U.S. She finds out there are all kinds of secrets about her security she didn't know, and her ransom becomes political. I love Meg because she's so smart, and so human. Her love for her mother constantly battles with her appreciation of her as president, and of the people around her in their functions as friends and as employees of the government.

The Trickster books actually came about because my fans kept saying, "So Aly's going to be a knight like her mother, right?" And I know something of mothers and daughters, so I knew there was no way that was going to happen. I also knew the dominant parent in Aly's life is George, and things went on from there. George found in Aly the one of his children who had a love of his new life at a time when he needed someone like that, so he was happy to share it with her. He didn't think, until he took her to a meet with a spy that went wrong, that this might backfire. She was about 12, and it turned violent. She handled herself very well, but all he could think of was that he had put her in harm's way. That's when he started to keep her in the background, but that's not what she wanted.

Shelf Elf said...

Tamora, I'm glad you mentioned Ellen Emerson White's books, because I was thinking about Meg's experiences with her mom's fame as soon as I read the topic of this thread. I loved how Ellen made that part of the novel so complex. It changed the way I thought about fame, that's for sure. I think that a whole lot of me would love to have famous parents, because of the opportunities that might open up, in terms of experiences. As Erin said, it would depend entirely on how famous, and what kind of parents they were. There is something about the idea of being hounded by the paparazzi and photographs of me in my sweatpants appearing on yucky magazines that has zero appeal!

Tamora Pierce said...

Shelf Elf, just think of the lives led by Michael Jackson's kids, or Tom Cruise's little girl! ::shudder::

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