A couple of weeks ago I commented on the New York Times article profiling Gregory Maguire, overall a fine piece, but I thought something he purportedly said had been taken out of context or misquoted. Yesterday I talked to Gregory and he confirmed that indeed it had been misrepresented. No surprise to me because I knew he would not have said something that sounded demeaning to the field of children's literature.
I told him about the time...this was probably 25 years ago...when I was interviewed for an article in a newspaper somewhere. The journalist asked my opinion of the work of Judy Blume. I scrunched up my face and jokingly said, "Judy Who? Never heard of her.." Laughing, of course, because at the time hers was the best-known name in the field. But the published article said, to my embarrassment, "When asked about popular YA author Judy Blume, Lowry professed never to have heard the name."
One of my favorite letters from kids, incidentally, during that time, was one that said, "In my class we all have to write a letter to an author. We had to draw straws to see who would get Judy Blume. I did not win so I am writing to you."
This morning there is a homeless person sleeping in a park across the street, a sure and sad sign that spring has come. Curled up in an a raggedy sleeping bag, this person is probably 20 yards from a house that is listed on Zillow.com at 5.03 million. Inside that house, someone is sleeping as well. The distance between the two people is so small, and so huge. What if.... Oh no, I must stop thinking that way; I have enuogh work in front of me already. And Mark Twain already WROTE that book.