The benefits of age

I’ve written before about the reassurance, relief, even joy I get from the fact that so many successful children’s authors are – gasp! – middle-aged. Even, I must say, elderly. Now, I see nothing wrong with begin elderly. It is far preferable to the alternative, in my opinion! (To not be elderly. Nor young. Think about it.)

So I was interested to find an article in last week’s The New York Times Magazine about this very subject, Β “Our Young-Adult Dystopia.” Michelle Dean writes entertainingly about the recent spate of very young authors being hailed as The Next Big Thing and how their books don’t seem to be measuring up in terms of quality to those of children’s authors whose works have long been considered classics. (Although she does lump Rowling, who sold “Harry Potter” at 30 with the middle-aged. Interesting.)

Do check out the article. It is amusing and supports my theory that a life well-lived is good preparation for writing for children, and that our society, with its focus on ever younger “super stars”, may not be on the right track. Age is a benefit, not a detriment. We should celebrate our experience, our wisdom, even our wrinkles, should we have them. In writing, as with beauty, good bone structure is essential for long-term admiration.

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