Adèle Geras on Women Doing Literary Things

I’m honored to feature Adèle Geras on WDLT this week. Geras, who lives in Cambridge,  has authored over 90 books  for readers of all ages. Her latest adult title is A HIDDEN LIFE (Orion), her latest young adult book is DIDO ( Corgi), and she has recently brought out a picture book (illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas)  for younger children called MY BALLET DREAM (Orchard).  Her essay on WDLT is titled “Appealing to everybody”, and talks about the trends in gendered book covers for children.

“…my own preoccupations are with things not traditionally associated with boys. I don’t write adventures. My books are full of clothes, food, emotions, relationships. I’m not given to fantasy (though I do like a nice spooky story as much as the next person and have written lots of those) and  in general  I’m impatient with books and movies which are full of special effects and short on dialogue.

Some of my covers are pink, I admit it. Most have girls on the cover. Thus it is that whenever I’m in a school and the books are spread out on display,  a look of growing anxiety crosses the faces of any boys in the class. Once, a kid put up his hand and asked me: “Please Miss, have you ever written any books about killer crabs?” It was hard to destroy the hope in that child’s eyes, but I had to confess that killer crabs are not part of my artistic universe.”

To read the full essay, please click here.

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