March 23rd, 2019
The ongoing Young Adult wars are about power—about who has traditionally wielded power in publishing, and how that balance is shifting
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The YA book world has gone through a few high-profile controversies in the past few months involving authors who pulled their books shortly before publication after a group of angry bloggers accused them of racism. Each cancellation sparked a slew of hot takes, but this New Yorker piece from Katy Waldman is by far the most nuanced and careful one I’ve seen:
The ongoing Y.A. wars are about power—about who has traditionally wielded power in publishing, and how that balance is shifting, for better or worse. A group of unpaid readers—one with an undeniable personal investment in the Y.A. community—seems to be doing much of the work of critique that is usually first the task of agents and editors, and then that of booksellers and critics. But, when these particular readers do that work, they are derided as pitchfork-wielding hysterics. When it comes to Y.A., what, precisely, is the difference between the marketplace of ideas and a Twitter mob?