Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I Was a Teenage Anthology

And speaking of girls who dare....I just heard about a cool anthology that's about to launch. It's called Red the Book, and while I'm not sure I fully get the title yet (do you? am I missing something here?), the substance sounds amazing. Here's the blurbage:

A vivid portrait of what it means to be a teenage girl in America today, from 58 of the country's finest, most credentialed writers on the subject

If you're a teenage girl today, you live your life in words-in text and instant messages, on blogs and social network pages. It's how you conduct your friendships and present yourself to the world. Every day, you're creating a formidable body of personal written work.

This generation's unprecedented comfort level with the written word has led to a fearless new American literature. These collected essays, at last, offer a key to understanding the inscrutable teenage girl-one of the most mislabeled and underestimated members of society, argues editor and writer Amy Goldwasser, whose work has appeared in Seventeen, Vogue, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. And while psychologists and other experts have tried to explain the teen girl in recent years, no book since Ophelia Speaks has given her the opportunity to speak for herself-until now.

In this eye-opening collection, nearly sixty teenage girls from across the country speak out, writing about everything from post-Katrina New Orleans to Johnny Depp; from learning to rock climb to starting a rock band; from the loneliness of losing a best friend to the loathing or pride they feel about their bodies. Ranging in age from 13 to 19, and hailing from Park Avenue to rural Nevada, Georgia to Hawaii, the girls in RED-whose essays were selected from more than 800 contributions-represent a diverse spectrum of socioeconomic, political, racial, and religious backgrounds, creating a rich portrait of life as a teen girl in America today.

Revealing the complicated inner lives, humor, hopes, struggles, thrills, and obsessions of this generation, RED ultimately provides today's teen girl with much-needed community, perspective, and validation-and helps the rest of us to better understand her.

Ok, so can someone explain to me the title? Is it a riff on Little Red Riding Hook? Red Book? Read the Book? Red, like your period? (Sorry -- I'm just kind of confused, and I know there's something I'm missing here....)

Thanks to the ever-savvy Lauren Sandler for the heads up!


Anonymous said...

Red could mean anything you want it to mean. However, a little clarification: the original title was going to be "Blood Red Heart," the title of one of the essays in the collection. Word was that such a title might be a bit off-putting and it was shortened to "Red...."
Accordingly, you can interpret that to mean anything from menstrual blood to passion....all of which was discussed in the book, anyway.

Deborah Siegel said...

AHA! Thank you, anon. I love it.

Red the Book: the Editor said...

Hi! It's Amy Goldwasser, the book's editor, here. First, do you have a book yet? Let me know. Love your blog, and would love to get you one.

Second, the title--even more feminist than you think! (And not meant to be cryptic at all, a lot in the book's introduction.) The idea is simply red-not-pink, as in anti- the cliche, Disney, pink puffy heart idea of teen girls. These girls are the best shades of red: on fire, passionate, primary-color invested in their causes. Better? Thanks so much, Lauren, too, for noticing RED. Help spread the word!