Really? Are We Still Genre Shaming People For The Books They Like?

Great article today on i09 I wish didn’t have to be written. It mentions a Slate article reprimanding adults for reading young adult fiction. I feel like I heard this on MPR not too long ago, or at least discussion regarding how we define Young Adult literature.

The meat of Ruth Graham’s anti-YA screed is that no one over the age of 17 should be reading young adult novels—no Hunger Games, no Divergent, no The Fault in Our Stars (whose movie adaptation seems to have inspired this manifesto). No, instead, proper mature adults should be reading appropriately literary fiction—which, presumably, you find in the part of the bookstore marked “Literature.”

I’d hate to hear what she thinks about my comics collection.

This argument is a familiar one to anyone who has ever heard that serious literature can’t contain spaceships or aliens or, god forbid, dragons. For decades, science fiction and fantasy fans have dealt with people dismissing our favorite books as “mere escapism” — no matter how many William Gibsons or Neal Stephensons or George R.R. Martins came along. But as science fiction and fantasy are being taken more seriously, it seems that we need to find more targets for our elitist sniffing.

I don’t feel like less of an adult because I spent a good deal of this morning debating if I had the money to buy a Dark Phoenix costume for my so-soon-I-can-taste-it comic book binge after I finish graduate school.

Dark Phoenix Costume

Come on. I feel like being an adult is what finally allows me to more fully enjoy my adult love of “children’s” or “young adult” literature! When I was a kid, I couldn’t afford to buy a costume this awesome. (This is the ad picture…eventually I’ll buy this and there will be pictures of me.)



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