Thursday Links

October 19, 2006 | 6 books mentioned 3

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created and edits The Millions. He is co-editor of the collection of essays The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books, called "funny, poignant, relentlessly thought-provoking" by The Atlantic. He and his family live in New Jersey. If you'd like to correspond, please don't hesitate to email.

3 comments:

  1. Writing which elucidates the main themes, foci and/or credentials of a book, is a winner for anyone who loves to read.

    But Silvey's book contains 'classics' that are 'Beyond the 500'. Given that the twenty-first century teenager experience is a far cry from a Caulfield, or any of the Cormier / Blume teenagers, is it fair to have books that are 'classics' in this genre, and that are exempt from testing against modern criteria to retain a space on this list?

  2. Sure. I'd say it's fair. The fact that we still know and discuss these books means they are worthwhile, if only because new readers can join in the broader literary discussion after having the read them. I think that this criteria holds true for any book, teen or otherwise. Plus, if a book weren't worth reading it wouldn't have the staying power to make it on such a list.

    That's not to say, however, that all old "classics" should be grandfathered onto all new lists. There's certainly a place for a similar list that includes only newer books, but my impression is that these recommendations are designed to introduce the underacheiving reader to the whole world of good books out there outside of the school context, which, as I've mentioned previously, can lessen kids' enjoyment of very good books.

  3. I would like to know how the forum feels about the trend of Adult / Teen overlap. Has it always been the case that the best fiction does show the capacity to leap genres?

    I'm also trying to decide how I feel about the attendant snobbery that goes with adults reading teen fiction, with a more mature jacket.

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