“Privilege and Street Coincide and Meld”

 

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Guest Reviewer: Kevin R. Myers

“You better believe it: the New Adult and contemporary romance genres have collided to birth a delightfully banging, foul-mouthed tome of fun. I read HAIR CLUB BURNING in one fell swoop, and I love how much damn fun it is. Two wonderfully vivid voices (Beth Wareham and Jason Davis) have created a story about how “privilege” and “street” coincide and meld. The result is a wildly insightful comedy of manners, social structure and payback. The strings of profanity exclaimed throughout the book’s clever, colorful plot create loads of giddy guffaws. What you’ll really love is the unlikely partnership of Mary Ann and Jay, two people from utterly different worlds. Their friendship, and their ensuing romance, is way better than May/December. It’s full-on Westchester/Harlem. And it’s kick-ass awesome!”

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Lena Dunham versus Jane Austen in the “New Adult” Smackdown

Here goes the idiotic “publishing thing” again. A marketing demographic – in this case, young people from the ages of 18 – 22 – is being hijacked as a “genre” for fiction. They call it “new Adult.” If that doesn’t make you, presumably an adult, run and woof into a trash can, I don’t know what will.

Publisher’s Weekly even had a podcast, or something. Young editors, not conversant in how the internet works or in fact their own competition – crowed about this new genre that would step in where chick lit failed.

Here are the words I have for “new Adult” aficionados and the editors and writers who fall for this malarky. You have some shoes to fill:

1. Jane Austen
2. Mark Twain (remember Huck Finn? You read it? In school, maybe?)
3. F Scott Fitzgerald (lyrics by Jay-Z)
4. Charlotte Bronte
5. William Faulkner (Quentin wasn’t very old, kids)
6. Dostoyevsky (You best get off that toilet and write, Lena!)
7. Carson McCullers

“New adult” is a selling term that I should never have heard of. It’s a term that tells you what website to promote a book on.

Do NOT turn your talented authors into writers churning out text for a marketing term. You put them in a ghetto where those who define themselves as “adult” will never find them. For shame.

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