Anonymous said: Ms. Bardugo, I loved your first books, but I was terribly disappointed to see you give in to political correctness in Ruin & Rising. You had a great story and then you ruined it with unnecessary lesbianism. Authors don't need to make statements, they just need to write good books. I hope you'll remember that in the future.
I was really tempted to ignore this because I don’t believe in giving anon wangs a platform, but the term “unnecessary lesbianism” made me laugh so hard that I caved.
Authors can write good books and make statements. I’m going to make some statements now. (Get ready.)
Queer people and queer relationships aren’t less necessary to narrative than cishet people or relationships. In fact, given the lovely emails and messages I’ve received about Tamar and Nadia (and given the existence of anon wangs like you), I’d say making queer relationships visible in young adult fiction is an excellent—and yes, necessary—idea.
I do agree that story trumps statement or we’d all just write angry pamphlets, but queer people exist both in my world and the world of the Grisha trilogy. I don’t see how including them in my work is making a statement unless that statement is “I won’t willfully ignore or exclude people in order to make a few anon wangs happy.” If that’s the statement I’m making, I’m totally down with it.
Also, I’m going to take this moment to shout out Malinda Lo, Laura Lam, Alex London, David Levithan, Emily Danforth, Emma Trevayne, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Cassandra Clare, and to link to Malinda’s 2013 guide to LGBT in YA. Because why just give attention to bigots when you can talk about awesome books and authors instead?
Quick question to the general populace: who wants to join my band Unnecessary Lesbianism? I only play the triangle, but I know we’re going to make it big.
Isn’t this lovely. I’m really honoured to be on Leigh’s list which has all authors I love and respect (as I do Leigh herself). I was just reading an interview with David Levithan, who has helped change the face of children’s publishing, and he talked about this very thing and listed several authors he loves and admires too:
I think, while there is still a long way to go, that it is really beautiful we can talk about this, and celebrate it, and have a lot of authors and books to talk about, and come together in love and respect and hope for a changing world despite, you know, the absolute raving bags of seagull poop who talk of writing about love as ‘scandalous’ ‘for sales’ ‘to make a statement’ ‘to be politically correct’ or whatever other absolute obvious nonsense they talk about to disguise the fact that the hatred in their own hearts makes them uncomfortable and they just want the discomfort to go awwwwwwway.
Quick question to the anon: how on earth does two people loving each other make a book ‘not good’? How and why does it *ruin* a book for you? And if it does… the whole world is full of so many different loves. If it does, the whole world is going to be ruined for you. Unless you change. I hope you do, because until you do, it’s not the world that’s rotten and twisted: it’s you. Not the world, not stories, not authors, not characters, certainly not love, but you, you, you.
I hope you’ll remember that in the future.