Thursday, March 08, 2007

Continuing Guilt/Rosemary Graham

Rosemary Graham can be pleased that I ordered her book Thou Shalt Not Dump the Skater Dude without having read it, on the recommendation of one of my students who swore to me that there was no bad language or people engaging in "take home exams for 8th grade health class", even though I hadn't bought the Hippie Hotel book, with the excuse of quirky/dysfunctional. I'm liking the Ellen Confordesque titles, though, and figure that this woman has to be about my age.(I'm about 42, I think.)

I also liked the book, when it came back into the library long enough for me to take it home to read. It was the highlight of the week. I will give it the ultimate compliment-- it reminded me slightly of Beany Malone. This winter, I want all books to be Beany Malone.

Now the guilt part-- I came across this essay by her and agreed:

I don't like the term Chick Lit. Chick is derogatory. I can't see it as anything else. But pink, now. I use the term pink. A lot. It's short. When I have a line of 15 children who all want a recommendation, and the rounder is empty except for 30 year old books I am trying to push, I need to know from them ONE WORD about what they want. War? Sports? Vampires? History? Books-about-strong-girls-who-nonetheless-want-to-attract-the-boy? No, we use the term Pink.

What else to use? How else to categorize the plethora of issues facing teenage girls? SureBeany cared about how she looked in that horrible beige dress that her friend Dulcie made for her, but she also worked at Lilac Way and tried to help those girls better themselves. She was a good, hardworking, frugal person, who also wanted to turn Carlton's head. (And marry him after dropping out of college, and pop out two kids by the time she was 23, but this was 1960. Also why I don't actually have those books in the library.)

Until I find another solution, I am going to continue the use of Pink. We will embrace the pink. We will make it not a pale, vapid pink (like Beany's other formal, the one she had to wear with the amethyst broach), but a hot, powerful, in-your-face pink (Like the cover of Graham's book) that says "we are women, we are strong, and we don't want to be boys-- we want to be sucessful females".

That's really the best I can do at 6:30, awash in guilt as I am.

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