Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

Young adult fiction is the new punk rock it seems, as the realism-based and sometimes magic realism-sweetened stories of Francesca Lia Block, Ellen Hopkins, and Ned Vizzini have been getting both teenagers and adults excited by the possibilities of the (is it really called a?) genre.

The noon readings and Q&A from these authors at the Bumbershoot Literary Stage (Leo K. Theatre division) wasn't packed with attendees, but a cheerful assortment of mostly young women got to hear some incredible autobiographical material about growing-up drug abuse and sexual experimentation from Ellen Hopkins (who read from her first novel "Crank"), playfully twisted and perfectly vivid verisimilitude from Lia Block ("My Boyfriend Is An Alien"), and morbidly hilarious criticism of suicide help-line trauma out of Vizzini's upcoming more autobiographical work.

This was a high quality literary reading, moderated wonderfully by YA author and National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti, and I have the feeling that most of those who attended were inspired to either run out and buy scads of this revived and reinvented new literary movement (University of Washington bookstore sold out of some titles in the lobby very quickly early in the afternoon) and even start writing up some of the wild and tragic and universally meaningful growing up sagas of their own.