“Mum, I have to go and see an author tomorrow.”
This, in tones which would not be out of place in an undertakers. From a 12-year-old literature junkie. What gives?
Alas, the privilege of leaving school during lessons to meet a writer with sales of four million is unappreciated because said author writes romances. Teenage romances.
And Maddie is heading gothwards. Underneath that personable, even merry outer veneer, she has all the qualities one would expect on the CV of a dementor. She admires science ficton: Ray Bradbury, HG Wells, and some modern writers I have not quite got my head round yet.
And her very favourite genre is dystopian fiction.
“Ah,” I intoned sagely, “but what about Jacqui Wilson? You like Jacqui Wilson, and she’s not …..um….post-apocalyptic, or whatever they call it.”
Somehow I can never find the term ‘dystopian’ when I want it. It keeps an eye on me and, as I am sidling down the metaphorical corridor towards it, it spots me and slips off to find the equally metaphorical coffee machine.
“Mum, it’s dystopian. And there’s a big difference between dystopian and post apocalyptic.” And she proceeded to lecture me about the difference, all the way down the road from the train station to our drive, where Clive Bond The Cat waited vacantly for us.
So of course I googled when we got home and she’s right. There is a significant difference. I sighed. Maddie would so love somewhere like Oxford or Cambridge, where people care passionately about this sort of thing. But to get there one must be rare indeed.
Bemused, I shared the experience on Facebook. Being lectured by your daughter on the difference between the two genres cannot, surely, be an everyday experience? And by the reponse, I guessed I was right.
I showed her the response this morning. BIG mistake, and cue for further lecture. The City of Ember is post-apocalyptic, the Hunger Games dystopian, and she even found a utopian novel amongst the ones mentioned in the Facebook stream.
There were umpteen calls for a guest blog from the 12-year-old literary critic.
She says she will write one. I think she’ll have to, or she might explode.
Still, she brought me the permission slip for the author visit. An author is and author is an author, when all is said and done. And she trotted off to school with quite a light step for an apprentice dementor.