Thursday, September 5th, 2013
My next short story* and next novel** will be published by Month9Books, and I couldn’t be happier. Why? One of the reasons is all of the terrific authors (and staff!) who are part of M9B and its sister imprint, Swoon Romance. So many wonderful people…and so many books!
So I’m updating my blog roll (didja see the spiffy blog roll on the right side of the screen?) to include links to these amazing M9B and Swoon authors. Check them out!
* “Thirst,” which will be in VERY SUPERSTITIOUS: MYTHS, LEGENDS AND TALES OF SUPERSTITION. If you’re a Riders reader, you’ll want to read this story about Famine (and Death) from a very, very, very (very) long time ago.
** TO BEAR AN IRON KEY, coming in spring 2014. A young and powerful witch is trapped by her grandmother’s curse, her mother’s love and a promise to marry the wrong boy. A witch, a thief, the fey, a stolen Key, a World Door, and Midsummer. YA traditional fantasy!
Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
I’d thought it was a hoax, but hey, I’ve been wrong before. In an upcoming edition of Huckleberry Finn, to be published by NewSouth Books in Alabama, all instances of “nigger” and “injun” will be removed, thanks to Mark Twain scholar Alan Gribben of Aubern University. This is so that teachers who “would love to teach this novel but feel [they] can’t do it anymore” can teach it, all sanitized-like. “Gribben said that he grew up never hearing the N-word and that while reading the novel aloud during his 20 years of teaching he replaced it with ‘slave.'”
That’s right: slave is the new N-word. (I assume “injun” will be replaced with “oppressed indigenous population.”)
This is so painfully wrong. Changing offensive words from a classic novel — or any novel — is more than censorship: it’s purposefully irresponsible. Or, if you prefer, willfully stupid. This is summed up beautifully by Dr. Sarah Churchwell, senior lecturer in US literature and culture at the University of East Anglia, who said “the development made her ‘incandescent’ with anger”:
“The fault lies with the teaching, not the book. You can’t say ‘I’ll change Dickens so it is compatible with my teaching method’. Twain’s books are not just literary documents but historical documents, and that word is totemic because it encodes all of the violence of slavery. The point of the book is that Huckleberry Finn starts out racist in a racist society, and stops being racist and leaves that society. These changes mean the book ceases to show the moral development of his character. They have no merit and are misleading to readers. The whole point of literature is to expose us to different ideas and different eras, and they won’t always be nice and benign. It’s dumbing down.”
What I find completely inexcusable is the notions that some teachers feel they can’t teach Huckleberry Finn. Why on earth not? When I was taught it in school, my teacher began by putting the book, and the dreaded word, into context. That’s right: my teacher actually taught me and my classmates about the importance of historical integrity and how language reflects the culture of its times. So when we started reading the book, we were well aware that “nigger” was going to appear (I don’t remember if “injun” was flagged) eleventy-bajillion times. And you know what? We were still able to read the book and discuss it.
What’s next? Changing “Moby Dick” to “Moby Richard” because “dick” is a slang term for “penis”?
Changing words in books to reflect the conceits of modern times is insane. For those who say “Think of the children!” I say that the children are very smart, thank you, and can understand what is meant by historical context — especially when there is a teacher who, you know, teaches them about historical context. But I suppose someone like Gribben, who (according to this USA Today article) was so sheltered growing up that he never once heard the word nigger, would much rather sanitize things they find upsetting instead of teach them in a thoughtful, intelligent way.
There’s a lot of ugliness in American history, including racism. Removing so-called insensitive words from books that purposefully illustrate that ugliness destroys the integrity of those books. As Dr. Chruchwell says, it’s the dumbing down of literature. It’s litterature.
Stop feeding kids garbage. Don’t dumb down books.
Tuesday, October 12th, 2010
Happy Tuesday, everyone! Before I link over to today’ HUNGER blog tour stop, I want to give a huge shout out to a great friend and fabulous writer, whose latest book hits the shelves today.
HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY, A.S. KING!!!
Yes, today is the official publication date for PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ, a Junior Library Guild selection that has earned starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Kirkus. PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ is about a teenage girl, her dead (ex) best friend, and her attempt to clear his name. The author’s first book, THE DUST OF 100 DOGS, was a fabulous read — and VERA is even better. Get thee to a bookstore and buy PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ.
You can read an interview between Vera and Death here. And if you’re a Saffron fan from 100 DOGS, you can read Saffron’s interview with Death here.
Today’s HUNGER blog stop is with Steph over at Steph Su Reads. Along with the review, there’s also an interview in which I talk about the Thin Voice, Death, the end of the world, and what Horseman of the Apocalypse I’d be if I could. It was a very fun interview to do; hope you enjoy reading it!
Tuesday, May 18th, 2010
Today’s the day, Richelle Mead fans! SPIRIT BOUND officially hits the shelves, and Vampire Academy fans around the world rejoice!
Here’s the synopsis, from Richelle’s website:
Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong…After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and he’s out there, somewhere.
She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won’t join him, he won’t rest until he’s silenced her…forever.
Yeah, I’ll be going to the bookstore today.
And in other vampire news, if you haven’t checked out the new Post Mortem interview with Rachel Caine’s Shane (from the Morganville Vampires series), you really should.
Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
Wow, there’s a boatload of terrific new books available today!
WHITE CAT (Curse Workers #1), Holly Black
Mobsters as magicians? Dude. I’m in love. Ever since I read Tithe, I’ve been enamored of Holly’s writing. Hugely looking forward to this new series!
RUNNING SCARED (Sentinel Wars #3), Shannon K. Butcher
I have been pestering Shannon about when the third book in the Sentinels would be available for months. Months. I love this series, and I can’t wait to dash to the bookstore over lunch today to get my grubby hands on book three.
DEAD IN THE FAMILY (Sookie Stackhouse #10), Charlaine Harris
Way before True Blood, there was Sookie Stackhouse. After the way things were left in last year’s Dead and Gone, I just wanted to give poor Sookie a ginormous hug. Definitely eager to see what happens next to our favorite telepathic barmaid from Louisiana.
MAGIC ON THE STORM (Allie Beckstrom #4), Devon Monk
Yay, apocalyptic storm approaching! Yay, Allie has to save the day! Devon is one of my fellow (fella?) Deadline Dames, and I’m looking forward to reading the latest in her terrific series.
THE DEMON IN ME (Living in Eden #1), Michelle Rowen
I loved Michelle’s fabulous Immortality Bites series. I am so thrilled she has a new series out now — and about demons! Rah, demons! This new book is at the top of my To Be Read pile.
SHADE, Jeri Smith-Ready
I’m a huge fan of Jeri’s vampire series, and when she mentioned her new YA about ghosts, I new I wanted to read it. I was fortunate enough to get an ARC, and I devoured SHADE. And oh my God, it’s phenomenal. I **loved** this book. Everyone should read it.
THE RED PYRAMID (The Kane Chronicles #1), Rick Riordan
My kids and I adore the Percy Jackson series. Tax Deduction the Elder is very into Egyptian mythology, and it’s a toss-up who’s going to read RED PYRAMID first — him or me. (Oh, okay, I guess we can read it together…)
Already Available, But I Missed It Because I Have The Attention Span Of A Toddler On Pixie Stix
KISS OF DEATH (Morganville Vampires #8), Rachel Caine
Argh — I can’t believe I missed this last week!!! When I think YA vampire series, Rachel’s Morganville Vampires is one of the first series that comes to mind. Gotta have it!
Monday, May 3rd, 2010
If you’ve ever wondered how someone becomes a book editor and what a book editor does, you should read the terrific Julie Tibbott interview over at The Undercover Book Lover! Julie is my editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Graphia Books, and I adore her. She got me to really think things through with HUNGER so that I could make the story as strong as possible. And she’s also a terrific person to talk to (or email), which is always great!
Here’s the interview: http://theundercoverbooklover.blogspot.com/2010/05/editor-interrogation-julie-tibbott.html
Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
A huge congratulations to the phenomenal Heather Brewer, bestselling author of the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, for the paperback book birthday of TENTH GRADE BLEEDS!
It’s another sucky year at Bathory High for Vladimir Tod. The evil vampire D’Ablo is hunting for the ritual that could steal Vlad’s powers. His best friend Henry doesn’t want to be his drudge anymore. And as if all that weren’t enough, it’s getting harder for Vlad to resist feeding on the people around him. When months go by with no word from Uncle Otis and D’Ablo shows up demanding Vlad’s father’s journal, Vlad realizes that having a normal high school year is the least of his concerns. Vlad needs to act fast, and even his status as the Pravus won’t save him this time . . .
And folks, start getting excited about ELEVENTH GRADE BURNS. Because I promise you, as fabulous as TENTH GRADE BLEEDS is, ELEVENTH is gonna blow it out of the water.