09 July, 2009

The Daily Mail goes off

'With a title that sounds more like a paedophile website than serious literature,' Tender Morsels aims to steal your children's innocence and make you, particularly if you are a parent, actually uncomfortable, says Danuta Kean. Ew, I hope you can stand it. Because nothing else about the real world will force you to answer awkward questions from your children.

This is an absolute, puss-mouthed, Mary-Whitehouse-channelled smear of an article. I don't know where to begin to argue with it, it's so bent-headed.

She says the adult cover is misleading because you have to look twice at the cover to notice that the birds are crows and the bear has teeth and claws. 'How many of us on a fast run through a bookshop to buy nieces and daughters a present have time to notice such details?'

To which I say, covers are not designed to keep irresponsible aunties and uncles and parents from embarrassing themselves. Open the book (to the first page—I can tell I'm going to get sick of saying this) and use just a tiny-weeny bit of your own judgement. Put the book back if you don't think it's suitable, and everyone will be happy.

How to counter the rest of this? Can't. Haven't got time. Must pack for Chicago.


Blogger Greg G said...

Here's something from her Twitter -


"Finally coming up for air after writing piece for the Mail about Tender Morsels - it's good, but not for 11-y-os. It's in the Mail tomorrow."


I finally finished reading "The City And The City" the other day. It's good, but not for toddlers.

I also made a chocolate cake on the weekend. It was good, but not for dogs.

09 July, 2009 14:23  
Blogger Farah Mendlesohn said...

You are on sale in the British Library bookstore.

09 July, 2009 16:53  
Blogger jonathan said...

What? She said "How many of us on a fast run through a bookshop to buy nieces and daughters a present have time to notice such details?" about the *adult* cover.

How many of us do a quick run through the bookshop and grab a random book from the adult shelves for 11 year olds anyway?

Who on earth ever said it was for 11 year olds anyway?

09 July, 2009 17:07  
Blogger Among Amid While said...

Greg: Ha! Yes, I'm drinking a glass of wine right now. It's good, but not for parrots. So don't touch it with a bargepole.

Farah: Ah, my work here is done. *basks in the glory*

Jonathan: Well, exactly. And the YA cover doesn't exactly communicate auntish/uncle-ish sweetness and light.

Danuta has fabricated the 11yo thing, because acknowledging the YA label properly would take the outrage out of her story's sails.

09 July, 2009 17:31  
Blogger Among Amid While said...

Plus, there's no mention at all of the gang-sodomy. I suspect Ms Kean *whisper* has not read beyond the smutty bits at the beginning.

09 July, 2009 17:42  
Blogger Greg G said...

Well, the odd thing is she tweets this also:

"I think it is very good, but it's definitely not a children's book. It could win the Orange to be honest, it's that good."

I wrote a comment accusing her of obtaining her faux-outrage from a Daily Mail style manual. It hasn't been approved as yet. The paedophilia comment is as blatant a dogwhistle as I've seen in a book review.

09 July, 2009 18:22  
Blogger José Iriarte said...

"I think the average 11- year-old would understand what is happening, and they would be perplexed and horrified."


You keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means.

10 July, 2009 03:44  
Blogger Aishwarya said...

Good grief, that article is nasty even by Daily Mail standards.
I don't know if you read this Daily Mail article from a few months ago - moral panic over the fact that two of the books shortlisted for the Booktrust Teen award had the word "knife" in the title.

The people I reviewed your book for (I loved it) very clearly classified it under "14+"

10 July, 2009 07:14  
Blogger moo... said...

y'know, i'd take any negative press from the british tabloids as compliments. and so, i hope, would many potential readers!

12 July, 2009 07:07  

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