Latest Blog Posts

by Peta Jinnath Andersen

8 Feb 2011

Image from the cover of Diana Peterfreund's Rampant

Note: This is the second installment of this topic.  See also Scott Westerfeld Talks with PopMatters About Bitch Media’s Top 100 Feminist YA List Debacle

Young adult author Diana Peterfreund was the first author to call out Bitch Media on their removal of Jackson Pearce’s Sisters Red, and the first to ask for her book to be removed.

Last week, Peterfreund elaborated on her issues with Bitch’s actions. Her novel, Rampant is 71 on the list (it’s in alphabetical order).

by Peta Jinnath Andersen

7 Feb 2011

Note: This is the first installment of this topic.  See also Diana Peterfreund Talks with PopMatters About Bitch Media’s Top 100 Feminist YA List Debacle

Bitch Media has a lot of wins under its belt—its flagship project, Bitch Magazine, is a must-read for feminists everywhere. The non-profit has been lauded by critics, authors, and readers for its mission “to provide and encourage an empowered, feminist response to mainstream media and popular culture,” and for calling out anti-feminist attitudes in a thought-provoking, often entertaining, way.

Until now. Last week, Bitch Media published a list of 100 feminist young adult books on their blog. Packed with excellent reads, the list was quickly gobbled up buy YA authors and enthusiasts, and there was joy all around. Except there wasn’t—the day after the post, a commenter questioned the inclusion of Jackson Pearce’s Sisters Red and Bitch Media removed the book. Soon after, it removed two other books Margo Lanagan’s Tender Morsels and Elizabeth Scott’s Living Dead Girl, for the same reason—comments and an email about the books’ rape, rape culture, and trigger content (e.g., content that might trigger flashbacks or have other detrimental effects in survivors). Shortly after, the internet exploded—the YA section of it, anyway. (As of this writing, there are 379 comments on the original post.)


by Rick Dakan

18 Jan 2011

Horror writer H.P. Lovecraft occupies a strange place in the American literary canon. Published mostly in pulp magazines during his own lifetime, the author died in 1937, leaving behind enough stories to fill three or four volumes, enough letters to fill twenty-five, and a small but devoted circle of admirers who took upon themselves the task of keeping his memory alive. Now, over seventy years later, both The American Library and Penguin Books publish his work with other classics, and Lovecraft outsells most of the titles they print alongside him. His ideas have spawned hordes of imitators and dozens of innovators who have built on his work. Among those who pay attention to such things, he’s one of America’s great horror writers, second maybe only to Poe himself.

by Peta Jinnath Andersen

12 Jan 2011

I am a fan of e-readers, and e-ink. I’ve had a Kindle for just over a year, and I’ve read about 75 books on it (including several public domain titles). That said, I’m not entirely averse to the idea of Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color—at least, not yet. After all, an e-reader with a color screen, cheaper and less


functional than the iPad has uses, not the least of which are well-rendered textbooks and kids’ books. Yet Barnes & Noble’s latest gadget is still under threat from said iPad and Amazon’s Kindle—a threat that would be largely diminished if it would spend less time spinning, and more time reading.

Successfully marketing e-readers is different to successfully marketing a book. In book marketing, readers are presented with information about an author, a plot, and the type of readers who’ll enjoy said book, tying into reading preferences. And it works: chances are, if you’re a fan of the Percy Jackson series, you’ll be a fan of the Gods in Manhattan one; if you like the Stephanie Plum books, you might like Women’s Murder Club , a fact both Amazon and Barnes & Noble make use of in their e-newsletters (though, surprisingly, not at the end of an e-book). Marketing an e-reader, though, is about marketing the way we read, about marketing an experience. And that’s where Barnes & Noble could win.

by Peta Jinnath Andersen

1 Oct 2010

Photo from author website

Books, like children, are never what we expect. When a book enters the world, the story becomes what we make it, one part author, one part reader. But sometimes a reader can so completely mischaracterize a book that it becomes something else, something so far removed from its roots that it is not only unrecognizable to its author/creator, but also to its other readers.

Laurie Halse Anderson, an award winning childrens and young adult author, knows what it’s like to have a book mischaracterized. Earlier this month, her debut novel, Speak, was named in a baffling opinion piece by Wesley Scroggins, “Filthy books demeaning to Republic education,” in a Missouri newspaper, The Springfield News-Leader. Also early in September, the Stockton, Missouri school board banned Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, saying the book “had too much profanity to be of value.” Scroggins also submitted a 29-page document to the Republic Missouri school board, demanding among other things changes to the history and science curricula.

//Mixed media

NYFF 2017: 'Mudbound'

// Notes from the Road

"Dee Rees’ churning and melodramatic epic follows two families in 1940s Mississippi, one black and one white, and the wars they fight abroad and at home.

READ the article