Letter from the editor.


Thanks to everyone for the great response to our "Coming of Age" article in the Jan/Feb 2011 issue. Our letter writer (letter hack?) "Anonymous," last seen around these parts a year ago commenting on our "Guilty Pleasures" feature, has returned with his thoughts and a great list.

If, he argues, that we love coming-of-age novels because we read them when we ourselves were coming of age--and were therefore less cynical and critical--then I missed the boat at the time. Most of the coming-of-age novels I was required to read sent me scurrying back to The Lord of the Rings and Dune. I wanted my characters heroic! A Separate Peace? What a horrible thing that kid did. Huckleberry Finn? Nice, but Huck's old-fashioned. Red Badge of Courage? Slow and plodding. Catcher in the Rye? Well, Holden Caulfield just seems like a jerk.

Ah, it seems that some coming-of-age books--much like youth itself--are wasted on the young. Or, better put, parts of this genre are more a teacher's vision of what coming-of-age is like--often painful and full of regret. I'm not saying everything should be Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but at least could someone have given me more books like The...

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