Sunday, March 22, 2009

More on The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

I thought this March Madness Tournament of Books commentary was interesting with one of my favorite young adult titles this year discussed:

Shadow Country vs. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
"To be fair, E. Lockhart does have some interesting things to say about the empowerment of young girls. (Or at least the empowerment of young girls operating inside the waspy insularity of savagely exclusive East Coast prep academies.) She has undeniably sharp insights into boarding school psychology, and renders the shrill, all-consuming concerns of a kid grappling with social status in bright, witty sentences."

Commentary on the match up

"But I’m going to say that I enjoyed the hell out of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. (Is it inappropriate to enjoy the hell out of a YA book?) I’m going to give it to my own kids when they’re older. I’m going to buy it for my nieces and nephews. It’s a terrific novel, and it’s actually kind of about something—self-respect and identity and gender and empowerment—that’s probably as important to teenagers as whatever Shadow Country is about is supposed to be to me."

"I think E. Lockhart deserves more credit for the depth of ideas in Disreputable History than Doerr gives her. Yes, we are in the fairly rarefied territory of the elite prep school, but the exploration of identity and self, particularly as it’s developed in young women struck me as nuanced and plenty deep.

I laughed many times. I eagerly turned the pages toward the end. Plus, any book that name-checks Foucault and has a running metaphor on the Panopticon isn’t spending all its time in the shallow end."

More thoughts at A Chair, A Fireplace, & a Tea Cozy



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