So what did Anne Fine say, really? I’m of the opinion that she spoke exactly those words that were quoted in the Times yesterday, but I didn’t feel then that she meant it quite as people are interpreting it.

Anne Fine 2

My theory is that Daughter and I weren’t the only ones who thought that an event with Anne Fine and Melvin Burgess discussing the more troubled end of YA literature would be quite interesting and potentially exciting. Someone was obviously taking more careful notes than I was, but I do recognise the quote just about word for word.

It made perfect sense to me at the time (And I’m not saying this because I’m a little scared of Anne. I am, but that’s not why I’m saying it.) and it didn’t seem contentious in the least. It’s a fact. Books were different before, from what they are now.

Someone is doing that molehill thing, because there was nothing juicier to get from the discussion on Sunday evening. Anne Fine is a former Children’s Laureate, and the kind of person the press take an interest in. I simply don’t understand why there is a debate. I would also like to know whether those who have thrown themselves into this were actually there? If they weren’t, this debate risks the same fate as when Anne reviewed Doing It in a slightly one-sided manner. That time I believed her, until someone else made me look at it from both sides.

Or maybe I’m just stupid, and didn’t notice the undercurrents the other evening.

4 responses to “Fine?

  1. You are quite right! Anne said that there WERE thos kind of novels. She at n o point whatsoever advocated the writing of them, nor said she did that herself. The Times has put a completely different spin on what was a friendly discussion of all kinds of things and I’ve just written a letter to the Editor to say that. If they don’t publish it, at least the Bookwitch has the real story!

  2. Pingback: Happy endings? « EA300 Children's literature: a tutor's blog

  3. The article seems a little more nuanced than the headline suggests. (Unfortunately the Times won’t let me log in to comment there!)

    On a persoanl level, I haven’t noticed a dearth of books with happy or positive endings, just that you do get a greater range than historically.

  4. The Guardian have more about this on their book blog. Luckily quite a few people who were actually present have had their say.

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