Friday News: rape culture & YA, future of ebooks, another Harper Lee mystery, & memorializing every day objects
John Green, YA Authors, and Rape Culture – Reading this article made me think of that scene from Fahrenheit 9/11 where Michael Moore drives around DC in an ice cream truck broadcasting his live reading of the Patriot Act over a loudspeaker. Because I think this piece by Camryn Garrett, on the John Green “creepy” controversy, deserves precisely that kind of broadcast around YA-Landia. I’d love to see some of those who originally defended Green respond to Garrett’s extremely insightful and wise argument.
You’ve got all of these famous authors defending him — Chuck Wendig and Maggie Stiefvater and Sarah Dessen — but no one ever stopped to think about this girl. They chastised us about “forgetting the people behind the screen,” but that’s exactly what they did.
They forgot that there was a kid behind the screen — a kid they just publically shamed for expressing herself.
They forgot that if she ends up in a situation with an actual predator and senses that something is off, she might not say anything. Why? Because she was taught, by a bunch of New York Times bestselling authors with so much more power and respect and voice than her, that her feelings don’t matter. That John Green’s reputation is more important than her thoughts. –Huffington Post
How Penguin Random House is Moving Beyond “Ebooks That Mirror Print” – An interview with Penguin Random House VP and director of ebook development and innovation Liisa McCloy-Kelley about the next steps the publisher is taking to develop digital technologies beyond what can be achieved in print. One piece is good news is that PRH is working to make digital books more accessible for those with print disabilities, and as for the future in general,
As EPUB3 is implemented throughout the industry in the next year, we’ll see better handling of footnotes, anchors that let you match to print pagination, and many features that improve the basic experience for books. Ebooks will evolve over the next few years to allow for more non-linear experiences of content. They will also evolve to allow for more interactivity that will let us have slideshows instead of pages and pages of inserts with photos or interactive timelines and family trees. –Book Business
Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set a Watchman’ May Have Been Found Earlier Than Thought – Oh, now here’s a surprise (not). The new Harper Lee novel, you know, the one she allegedly approves heartily of having published, even though the public has heard no direct confirmation of this from her, may have actually been discovered several years before 2014, when Lee’s lawyer claims to have found it. Will the cloud of suspicion over the publication of Go Set A Watchman ever be lifted? Not surprisingly, the publisher stands behind the lawyer’s version of events.
But another narrative has emerged that suggests the discovery may have happened years earlier, in October 2011, when Justin Caldwell, a rare books expert from Sotheby’s auction house, flew to Alabama to meet with Ms. Carter and Samuel Pinkus, then Ms. Lee’s literary agent, to appraise a “Mockingbird” manuscript for insurance and other purposes.
The discrepancy between the two accounts raises questions about whether the book was lost and accidentally recovered, and about why Ms. Lee would not have sought to publish it earlier. –New York Times
What Makes the Orange Juice Can Worthy of Display in a Museum – Although not a celebration of July 4th, this Smithsonian piece on the importance of every day items for a museum collection reflecting the making of ‘American life’ is a great reminder that many things we take for granted are important in ways we cannot yet discern, but will be clear to historians years from now.
Trying things out for oneself is a broader theme of the ready-made clothing section of the exhibition as well, which addresses, in part, how the clothing in question democratized fashion. “As an immigrant, you can take off a shawl and put on a hat and become an American. Or go to the bargain basement of a department store and dress like a gentleman. Or order up clothes out of the Sears catalog and look like a movie star,” Gradwohl says. “It sort of blurs class distinctions and helps democratize society.”
Looking at both how these innovative objects shaped everyday life and the social change that they ushered in and catalyzed is a major goal of the the new show, according to Gradwohl. Bicycles, for example, spelled liberation for women because it allowed them to venture further from home and at later hours in the day without chaperones. Bikes, Gradwohl says, were also instrumental in leading to the late 19th and early 20th-century Good Roads Movement, and, subsequently, the highway system. –Smithsonian Magazine