Monday, March 15, 2010

Author Appreciation Week

The lovely and brilliant Heidi Kling is hosting Author Appreciation Week, inviting us to share thoughts on those authors who've made a lasting impression on our lives and work.
It's also spring break, so I'll be galavanting around and not at home; thus, my Author Appreciation Week will instead by Author Appreciation Monday and Friday!
The two authors I'd like to honor represent two aspects of my own writing: the hope that 1) I'll convey honest, hard realities through the lives of my characters and 2) that the myth and world I build transports readers into the story.

Today: Honesty

Laurie Halse Anderson is one of the contemporary authors I admire most. She unapologetically takes on difficult subjects and weaves beautiful tales with them.
In my lifetime, which has not been that long, I've had two friends institutionalized because of anorexia.
I've had friends and students traumatized by sexual assault.

My research and teaching focuses on the history of slavery,

violence and identity.
Laurie Halse Anderson sheds light on topics that are too often swept under the rug. She garners empathy for characters too often stigmatized and stereotyped.

She speaks out against book censorship and knows her readers are intelligent enough to engage with the harsh realities of life, that offering books as a safe space in which to encounter trauma is vital for young people. Her blog offers amazing advice and instructor to aspiring authors.

Thank you Laurie, for the amazing work you do!


  1. I've loved FEVER 1792 forever and used it as a summer book club read last year.

    Just recently read WINTERGIRLS and TWISTED.

  2. Okay, my post tomorrow was going to be LHA. O_O When I finished reading Speak for the first time I was dazed--literally. I couldn't speak. I just sat and thought about it for hours. And I was still thinking about it days later.

    She has an amazing gift of being able to write about topics that are so important (and disturbing) in a way that is very real.