Should J.K Rowling stop writing?
Posted by alison at wakefieldlibraries
Lyn Shepherd has stirred up a lot of comment with her article in the Huffington Post She was happy for J K Rowling ‘Pottering about” but feels the massive publicity about her adult books ”sucked the oxygen from the entire publishing and reading atmosphere.” She finishes ”By all means keep writing for kids, or for your personal pleasure… but when it comes to the adult market you’ve had your turn….it’s time to give other writers, and other writing, room to breathe.”
I think that Lyn is mistaken. Firstly there is plenty of room for all sorts of books and writers in the market. Yes, it is easy for JKR to get publicity for anything she writes but but libraries, bookshops and publishers promote large ranges of books by popular and new authors and know that people who are tempted to read one book and enjoy it will go on to explore more. Publicity for reading benefits all authors in the end.
Secondly, why should any writer be limited to a particular readership? Should a fine writer not be allowed to write for young people? Sorry, Neil Gaiman – please give back the Carnegie Medal for ‘The Graveyard Book’ and stick to graphic novels. A writer in one genre be limited to that? Hilary Mantel,Kate Atkinson, please don’t write any more challenging modern fiction but stick to historical novels and detective books.
What irritated me most about her post was the dismissive attitude to books for children and to children and young people as readers. Try reading Patrick Ness, Meg Rosoff, David Almond, Annabel Pitcher, Malorie Blackman and see if you think these ”books for kids” are ”stimulating for grown-up minds”. I think they are, and the quality and power of some of the novels written for children and young people today continues to delight me.
What do you think? Do you think Lyn Shepherd has a point and less publicity for well known authors would help other writers?
If you fancy trying Lyn’s books we have ‘Murder at Mansfield Park’, ‘Tom All-Alone’s’ and ‘A Treacherous Likeness’ in stock. They are literary mysteries inpired by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and the Shelleys respectively and have been well reviewed. If you try one, do post a review.