Review: Not That Bad, Dispatches from Rape Culture by Roxane Gay
Not that bad is an important, but heartbreaking conversation for our time. Filled with first-person autobiographical essays, it gives a voice to those who have been sexually assaulted, harassed, raped or sexually abused. Many of the victims downplay their experiences, yet each of the narratives show just how much trauma that every one of them has been through. This isn't about what happened to these people nearly as much as it is about the impact it had on their lives.
Every now and again, I like to ponder the tough questions. Like what would happen if the teenage trolls who repeatedly go to Yahoo! Answers and ask whether libraries keep the bible in the fiction or non-fiction section bothered to educate themselves about the dewey decimal system. But that would never happen. Anyway, another all-important question I've been pondering since I started writing this blog and revisiting a number of children's books is this. Did R.L. Stine use ghostwriters for his Goosebumps and Fear Street series? A little research (thanks, google) has brought up some mixed results. This article suggests that Stine did indeed write all 100+ novels on his own, with his wife acting as editor. See: http://www.viterbo.edu/perspgs/faculty/GSmith/RLStine.html Meanwhile, other articles suggest that Stine used ghostwriters for his Goosebumps series, at least. See: http://www.flavorwire.com/274052/whodunit-10-famous-ghostwriting-collaborations?all=1 http://t
As fans of V.C. Andrews and followers of my reviews will already know, recently, V.C. Andrews ghostwriter Andrew Neiderman began working on the Diaries Series, a spin-off, or companion series to the Dollanganger Series which is best remembered for its haunting first novel Flowers in the Attic . In the Dollanganger series, we read as four children were kept in an attic by their cruel grandmother and were eventually poisoned by their mother. When Cory, one of the younger children dies, the other three realise that they must escape. The sequel Petals on the Wind tells the story of how narrator Cathy and her surviving siblings Christopher and Carrie adjust to life outside of the attic, along with Cathy's thirst for revenge and two further sequels If There Be Thorns and Seeds of Yesterday introduce the next generation of the family, who too inherit their own share of problems and are haunted by the deep shadows cast by their ancestors. The saga is rounded out with Garden of Shadow
Are there any other authors out there who write similar novels to V.C. Andrews? This is a question I see asked frequently in excellent fan run V.C. Andrews Facebook groups like Attic Secrets and The Dolls Club. In times gone by, The Complete V.C. Andrews webpage (which is no more, but the best bits are archived by Lorraine at the Attic Secrets blog,) had a comprehensive list. Today, I thought I would put forward a few of my own thoughts and recommendations. (Note: This will focus mainly on the series and novels written by the actual V.C. Andrews and not ghostwriter Andrew Neiderman, who has a distinctive writing style of his own.) The Classics This is probably the best place to start, as it is likely that some of these novels influenced V.C. Andrews herself. Andrews was a fan of Charles Dickens, mentioning the author in the prologue of her most famous novel Flowers in the Attic. I have yet to read all of Dickens novels (I've read about half,) but I can feel a slight V.C. Andrews vi