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11 August 2008

Anthony McGowan On Pink Books

I know this is a wind-up, but still seems a bit much from the author the Bare Bum Gang books.

OK, so not many teenagers are going to be reading Nietzsche and the Marquis de Sade, but there's a whole world of books that I'd ban straight away if I got the chance: pink books. Yes, down there with Nietzsche and De Sade I'd place those terrible teeny-chick lit "novels", the ones about snogging and boyfriends and make-up and nothing else. The novel is supposed (says who? says me) to exalt the soul, to show humanity what, in its greatest moments, it might achieve; and yet also to reveal our vulnerability and our helplessness.

The leathery-skinned hacks who churn out the Pink books present a vision of young people as self-obsessed, shallow, blind automata, swilling about in a moronic inferno. Reading these books will leave your soul as shrivelled as one of those pistachios you sometimes find, blackened, in the bottom of the bag. Teenage girls, read the Brontës, read Elizabeth Gaskell, read George Eliot, read anything else - even Jane Austen - but keep the pink off your shelves.

From here.


Penni said...

Yawn. He is so obviously threatened by the idea of girls not just kowtowing to white man's idea of what girls ought to be. I wonder which pink books he's actually read.

LiteraryMinded said...

Yeah, I doubt he has picked up one and read it first.

Anonymous said...

In case you didn't notice, all the authors i recommended were women, so cut the white man bullshit. And the author i had in mind was Louise Rennison - read three of her books, as a judge in various competitions. I can't deny there was little of the wind up about the blog, but I'd still stand by every word.

lili said...

Hi "anonymous",

I would much rather the youth of today read Louise Rennison than anything by the Brontës (the very definition of "self-obsessed, shallow, blind automata, swilling about in an inferno", in my opinion).

And it's a bit rich to dismiss a whole genre based on one author's work. There are some amazing Pink books out there that are challenging, thought-provoking and empowering - Meg Cabot's Ready or Not is an example that springs to mind.

Can you say the same things about your books? Are The Bare Bum Gang books challenging, thought-provoking and empowering for their young readers?

I haven't read them, so I can't say.


Lili Wilkinson.