Towards a definition of "YA"

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Tue Feb 24 12:51:11 EST 2004


Maureen wrote:

>On Tue, 24 Feb 2004 15:54:37 +0000, Minnow wrote:
>>How about "Growth Fiction"?
>It sounds uncomfortably like a morally improving strand of fiction, or
>something with a dreadfully didactic purpose, like reassuring
>sixteen-year-olds that they will grow out of spots, or encouraging
>fiction for young people who can't find a romantic relationship, or so
>on ... Or Mind, Body, Spirit books for the younger reader, maybe.

Yes.  Glurk.  You're right.  I'm not wedded to any term for this genre,
mostly because I've got along well enough for half a century without one,
so I was just flinging possibilities in the air to see where they came
down.  That one seems to be on its edge in an organic cow-pat.

>'Youth fiction' has more appeal, perhaps, not least because the term
>is so elastic. I gather at least one tv company defines anyone under
>35 as part of the youth market now, which seems to cover everything
>from genuine adolescence to arrested adolescence to reclaimed
>adolescence. Goodness, what a capacious term.

:-)

Actually I'm now in mild shock, because I thought I'd see what I got if I
framed the question a different way, and I asked my newsagent what he'd
call a book about young adults or a young adult.  I *hope* he
misunderstood...  The answer he gave was *Lolita*.

Minnow


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