(email me your address and I will send the book)
I loved Laura’s answer (a) because of the Stephenie Meyer joke. Well played, Laura, (b) I also find much “literary gold” in children’s books (I loooove middle grade), (c) TRON… woot! and (d) I love this: “…because as I said, rewards are always greater when earned after hardship.”
Here is Laura’s full answer:
1. Stephanie Meyer…JUST KIDDING! Initially I thought of Sharon Creech or Jerry Spinelli, but I’ve decided to go with someone even more contemporary: Gennifer Choldenko. My frustration with most of the teen and adult fiction these days is the poor writing and lack of any sort of moral, i.e. let’s go rave like it’s 1993, and I irrevocably irrevocably irrevocably love you (we get it, you’ve taught the youth a new word). I find most of the literary gold in children’s/young adult books like Al Capone Does My Shirts, where not only can the reader enjoy the journey and the story, but we also learn a few morals, think a few intelligent thoughts and enjoy good writing. Being a pioneer isn’t always about exploring completely new things, it’s also about doing things well (so there’s a good trail left for others to travel) and making old things (like Alcatraz) new again. So who is a (modern) pioneer of literature? Gennifer Choldenko.
2. The world is obviously going into the apocalypse because we’ve all run out of ideas. TRON 2? Really? Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? At first I wanted to hate remakes because I’ve been craving something original, but the truth is- I’m totally going to see the new TRON movie, and I could really get into a modern Jane Eyre (especially considering that Jane Eyre is one of my all time favorite books). Nothing’s original, so my opinion on modern retellings is going to be based on the same factors that I judge any literature- is it well written, thought out, clever etc? I think could potentially enjoy any kind of book that isn’t just trying to soak me in sex and hipness soup.
3. I would much rather be classic Jane because even though life may have been dreadful in earlier times (especially in the beginning of Jane Eyre), dreadful things always make good things seem a lot more wonderful. Romance, being a gentlemen, honor, patience- these all meant different and greater things than they do now. Yes, in a modern Jane Eyre, life would hopefully be without such abusive orphanages, sickness, death, marital traps and duties to honor. But a modern tale would more than likely also have more selfishness and impropriety, and less patience, lesson learning and reward (a reward is always greater when it has been earned with trial). Would I rather experience what the old Jane experienced? No. But would I prefer the reward the old Jane received? Yes, because as I said, rewards are always greater when earned after hardship.
Cool contest- made me think :)