May. 7th, 2009

deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
Reason 1: Her blog post for today, "Intertextuality". Way to not-at-all sneakily introduce young readers to the completely accessible awesomeness of the subject they usually wouldn't get until college or graduate school, if at all, Kristin!

Reason 2: This galley which I am currently holding in my grubby little hand, with a cover graced with what I am reliably informed actually is an accurate depiction of a short bow.
deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
One frustrating thing about getting galleys (and trust me, I know the world's smallest violin is playing a maudlin tune right now) is that I want to talk about the books I read and I can't without spoiling other people for them. At least when I am reviewing I do you get to talk about the books, if not in a conversation, at least to what I assume is an appreciative audience.

I just finished my second reread of Kristin Cashore's Fire, and I'm overwhelmed by how much I want to talk about it (which, [personal profile] diceytillerman, means you are on tap). Those of you who have ever had to listen to me talk about books or culture know how much I love things that are kinda subversive, kinda hegemonic. Fire is one of the most kinda subversive, kinda hegemonic books I've ever read. I think I need to coin a new catch phrase for it: wicked subversive, wicked hegemonic. Except that "KSKH" rolls trippingly off the tongue, and "WSWH" most certainly doesn't.

On some axes -- say, gender -- it's got the same kinda subversive, kinda hegemonic reading which is pretty common in young adult girls' fantasy. But on others -- disability, attractiveness, class, family bonds, even narrative expectations -- it's just a wild swing along the subversive/hegemonic spectrum. Wicked S, Wicked H. Which, given my literary tastes, I obviously think is fabulous.

There are plenty of axes of convention this book doesn't challenge: heteronormativity, for example, or race in fantasy. Though it might be a surprise to the authors whose books I sometimes review, that's fine with me.

(Oddly enough, the last book I found this kinda/kinda was A Little Princess, of all things, which was much more complicated about class then it was in my memory. Though the book is one of my frequently-reread comfort books, the careful listen I had to give it while listening to the Librivox audio book showed me things about it I had never noticed while reading.)
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