Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Power of Books and Youth

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” 
― Madeleine L'Engle

For most people who are avid readers/writers there is usually one moment in time that sticks out to them. A moment where a book changed how they saw the world. Changed how they thought about themselves. And this can be especially powerful when we are young.

For me, there have been a lot of world altering books, but I think one of the most striking was The Giver by Lois Lowry.

I read The Giver in seventh grade and it was my first real exposure to a dystopian future. I had already fallen in love with fantasy and science fiction, but there was something much more visceral about the world Lowry created. It was new. It was terrifying. It could happen.

And that is what I love the most about dystopias. There is an element of truth and that's what makes the story truly chilling. The possibility. 

Since that time, I have read many dystopias. From Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale to Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games. There are many levels of verisimilitude, and, for me, the more realistic the better. That's why I've decided to tackle to the current problem of corporate personhood/deregulation in my book. By extrapolating the themes that I've observed in today's society I hope to create a new and terrifying and possible future. 

What book changed the way you thought about the world?

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