It’s true. Though friends and readers futilely continue to urge, I refuse to read Twilight. Yes, my official position is in staunch opposition to elitism, but my the itty bitty tweed-clad side of me is a defiant outlaw in my own jurisdiction. YA Lit is simply no-man’s land. Scoff.
I was therefore relieved to discover Catilin Flanagan’s marvelous review in my latest issue of The Atlantic, which is kind of like reading the Twilight books, only better because you’re not. In any case, her insights about girls’ special relationship to literature are right on:
The salient fact of an adolescent girl’s existence is her need for a secret emotional life—one that she slips into during her sulks and silences, during her endless hours alone in her room, or even just when she’s gazing out the classroom window while all of Modern European History, or the niceties of the passé composé, sluice past her. This means that she is a creature designed for reading in a way no boy or man, or even grown woman, could ever be so exactly designed, because she is a creature whose most elemental psychological needs—to be undisturbed while she works out the big questions of her life, to be hidden from view while still in plain sight, to enter profoundly into the emotional lives of others—are met precisely by the act of reading.
The whole piece is well worth a look. Read it here.