Anthony Lane on YA: a marketing wheeze

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Every now and then, Anthony Lane, The New Yorker movie critic, will go in for the YA kill. He did it here, in his review of the movie "If I Stay," based on the Gayle Forman novel. And he did it again, just a few weeks ago, in his review of "The Fifth Wave."

I quote:

"The film is directed by J. Blakeson and adapted—though perhaps not adapted enough—from the novel by Rick Yancey. In other words, we are in the belly of young-adult fiction: a marketing wheeze dressed up as an art form...."

We have to hand it to Lane for the crisp cleverness of his phraseology. But I think we also have to ask: Is marketing wheeze how the YA category began, what it now is, what it is becoming, or simply an easy (outmoded) mode of attack?

The only way to defend this category from future Lane-isms is to write our stories unclassifiably well.


Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

There is no way to defend against the belittling of YA; sneering at it has become persistent, pervasive and reflexive. No critical counter-arguments, no lists of worthy titles, no impassioned defenses of this genre's gems, have had any impact on the contempt. We write on, we read on, regardless.

Victoria Marie Lees said...

Yes, Beth, a resounding yes! Literature IS an art form. Children matter. And the literature of this genre has a permanent place in today's society. And not just the big screen or popular Harry Potter, Hunger Games and other stories that have made it big. I will always enjoy and write YA, because children do matter. They are our future. Wake up, Anthony!

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