In 1912, Henry Gilbert released his epic novel, Robin Hood.
In 1922, released was the stunning Ulysses by James Joyce.
Albert Camus brought us Existentialism with The Stranger and The Myth of Sisyphus in the year 1942.
1952, had us all crying over a spider with E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web.
A Winkle in Time, Something Wicked Comes This Way, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Clockwork Orange all blew our minds in 1962.
No one will ever love a book more than The Princess Bride which 1972 brought us.
Roald Dahl owned the year before I was born, 1982, with James and the Giant Peach and The BFG.
In 1992, The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey by Ernesto “Che” Guevara had us rethinking our lives and the journey’s we have taken.
2002 had us evaluating family life, the good, the bad, and the ugly with The Lovely Bones, Running With Scissors, and The Nanny Diaries.
In 2012, we watch as a naive, young, post grad entered into an explicit, kinky, BDSM, Dom/sub, terrifyingly controlling relationship with a young billionaire in the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy.
And now, according to the NY Times, this latter is the new wave of literature. It’s the way to “retain young readers who have loyally worked their way through series like Harry Potter, “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight,” all of which tread lightly, or not at all, when it comes to sexual encounters. In the “Twilight” books, for instance, readers are kept out of the bedroom when Bella and Edward, the endlessly yearning lead characters, finally consummate their relationship.
Providing more mature material, publishers reason, is a good way to maintain devotion to books among the teenagers who are scooping up young-adult fiction and making it the most popular category in literature, with a crossover readership that is also attracting millions of adults. All while creating a new source of revenue.”
Given the history of books I have just laid out for you, it seems insulting and a bit presumptuous to assume the most successful way to keep teens reading after high school is to give them explicit (and often times) kinky and unhealthy sex.
People are entitled to read what they read, write what they want to write, and publish what they must publish for “revenue”. But please give us readers in our 20’s more credit. We don’t need naughty billionaires and whips to continue our interest in literature.
To me, this is a sad, sad turn in pop culture. I may be burning some bridges saying so, but I can’t help it. Erotica was one thing. Poorly written erotica was quite another. But listing it as “new adult” fiction–the way to keep post grads interested in reading–is beyond ridiculous.
The article talks about a lot more. Read it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/22/books/young-adult-authors-add-steaminess-to-their-tales.html?_r=0
But as a girl with her masters in journalism, I can tell you that the inverted pyramid means the first few paragraphs are what they want you to take away from the article. But in my opinion, NY Times, it’s all rubbish.