If you missed Maureen Johnson on NPR today with Meghan Cox Gurdon…

you can still
listen in through the podcast! I LOVED how articulate, clear, strong, and intelligent YA author Maureen Johnson was!

I also called in (since Gurdon slammed Scars in her WSJ essay). I was glad to be able to say a short bit–and so grateful, as always, for all the lovely YAlit people’s support through Twitter! It really makes a huge difference.

I found it…hard…to have Meghan Cox Gurdon tell me that she pities me. Pity feels…far away from compassion, and can be condescending. I think it usually makes the person pitied feel awful. And I found it hard that again, Meghan thinks that most teens can’t relate to dark books because it’s not their experience (she thinks). I SO wish I’d been able to get in that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 8 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. That alone shows how many teens need “dark” fiction, and that’s just one issue. Never mind teens who haven’t been through such things but have friends who have.

But Maureen Johnson was so articulate and smart (I knew she would be), and so was the teen reader! And the Twitter support–you all are wonderful!

Check out the podcast if you want to hear it for yourself.
http://www.whyy.org/podcast/070611_110630.mp3

About Cheryl Rainfield

I write the books I needed and couldn't find as a teen. I write teen fiction--paranormal fantasy and gritty realistic fiction. I'm the author of SCARS (WestSide Books, 2010) #1 ALA QuickPicks, and Governor General Literary Award Finalist, HUNTED (WestSide Books, Oct 2011), STAINED (Harcourt, 2013), The Last Dragon (HIP Books, Sept 2009), and Walking Both Sides (HIP Books, 2011). I also enjoy drawing, surfing the web, connecting with people I like, doing crafts, and being with my dog.
This entry was posted in YA author, YA author chat, YA author interviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to If you missed Maureen Johnson on NPR today with Meghan Cox Gurdon…

  1. Jennifer says:

    Cheryl,
    I heard the radio show today and I have to say that I was so impressed with how respectfully and articulately you defended your book and the need to shed light on the so called “dark” topics.
    As a psychologist, I recognize the need to talk about the very things that make people uncomfortable. I applaud your efforts.
    You just gained a new reader!

  2. Oh, Jennifer, thank you! (beaming) I so very much appreciate your telling me that; it means a lot. I’m so glad you thought i was respectful and articulate! It was important to me to call in (even if scary) and ended up being a very positive experience. I’m so glad you’ll check out Scars!

    And I agree–it’s so important to talk about the things that some people find uncomfortable. The secrets and pain and things that hurt. It helps to talk about them…and to be heard. 🙂

  3. Ooooo, that woman’s viewpoint still makes me so mad. (Every time I hear more from her, I get madder… after her 2nd article, I had to write a post myself.) You and Maureen did a great job of explaining why she’s misguided, even if she still doesn’t see it. Kudos to you!

  4. Thank you, Lisa! I’m glad to hear it. And I thought Maureen was amazing! So glad you wrote a post on her 2nd article. I, ahem, couldn’t read her 2nd yet. Glad you could and did.

  5. Alicia Hendley says:

    Meghan Cox Gurdon says she “pities” you? Seriously? Because you had the courage to talk about what you went through? When I sit across from my therapy clients and they share even a bit of their pain with me, I can think of several words to describe how I feel: Awe, compassion, sadness, reverence, respect, hope, and anger (for what they have experienced), but never, NEVER pity. I find such ignorance staggering!

  6. Alicia, *thank you*. I can’t stand pity. And I see strength and courage in other survivors, too. Nothing to pity. I love what you feel for your clients.

  7. Pingback: {This and That} » [fiction, instead of lies]

  8. Jessica says:

    It seemed to me that Gurdon had (has) on rose-colored glasses. She’d like to believe that kids never think about “dark” things, whether or not they’ve suffered any kind of abuse. She wants to keep kids kids, let them have a real childhood (whatever that even means!), because it makes her uncomfortable to think about the alternative. Though, like you said in the interview, the alternative isn’t always terrible and tragic. Because people heal.

  9. Jessica, perhaps that’s what it is, that it makes her uncomfortable. I don’t know. And you’re right, people do heal. (Though that doesn’t mean that there’s not pain and struggle along the way.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.