I just got back in town and went almost immediately to hear Tim O’Brian (THE THINGS THEY CARRIED) talk at the downtown library. One of the things he said was this — fiction, rather than explaining things, should depend the mystery. He meant the mystery of being alive and doing contradictory things, being involved in stupid wars, hurting the people we love.
One of the complaints I hear about kids’ writing is that it does, in fact, pretend to solve thorny problems. At its worst, it reminds me of the Hays Code in Hollywood which demanded that vice be punished.
At its best, on the other hand, it charts the intimate shipwrecks we call relationships and celebrates the passing joys of this planet in ways that most fiction-for-adults can’t or won’t.
Are you stuck this morning, friends? Ask the gods for more mystery. They’ve got tons of it.