Young adult literature has two lives: The first is during adolescence, when the stories being told connect directly with their target audience. YA helps people through their teenage years, offering relatable characters and exciting adventures, teaching empathy and resilience. Its second life comes when the stories worm their way under the skin of the readers and become roots, firmly planted as a part of the reader’s DNA.
Like Hazel Grace with “An Imperial Affliction,” John Green’s work feels intensely personal to me. It’s evangelical-zeal-inducing and formative in every sense of the word, not only emotionally or intellectually, but also in terms of real relationships Green’s work has impacted my life.
When I watch Alex Honnold climb, it makes me crave that perfect solitude, the simultaneous rootedness and weightlessness he experiences when the sum total of his existence in that moment hinges on putting one foot in front of the other.
Popova examines the lives of the people — mostly queer women — usually excluded from science writing, and in doing so, crafts a narrative about the way people move through history and the way they perceive the scope of the universe. As Virginia Woolf would describe it, “Figuring” is, “no longer rooted, but gold flowing.”
She was a deeply complicated person who carried with her a lot of talent and a lot of trauma, and her life bore the weight of both. And yet, despite every good attempt to sketch her many facets in full three dimension, Benedict’s novel ultimately flattens Lamarr.
This Tuesday Oct. 23, a public art project by the University’s Institute for Humanities called “Literature vs. Traffic” was installed on Liberty St. Over 10,000 books covered the street all day, and pedestrians were invited to walk through the books and pick from them at night. Among the thousands of Ann Arbor residents who experienced the display were three Daily Book Review writers. These are their stories: