Critical Linking: The Most Read Stories, October 1st – 6th, 2012

Here are the most-read stories from the last week in Critical Linking….


Before publication, it will be subjected to a prolonged and intense process of subediting. Crucially, it will be signed, and usually paid for. Compared with the raw material of your average blog, it has been refined and distilled to within an inch of its life.

He means this as a good thing. No wonder most professional reviews are so bloodless.


In the intro, Dunham is self-deprecating about the idea that she has any wisdom to share, but says that if the book can help anyone avoid some of the mistakes she’s made it will be worth it. 

Here’s a mistake she didn’t make: asking $1 million for the rights to this thing.


India’s Sikh community has condemned J.K. Rowling’s recent novel, “The Casual Vacancy,” for describing one of the female characters, Sukhvinder, as “mustachioed, yet large-mammaried” and portraying her as a “hairy man-woman.” (Traditionally, followers of the Sikh religion are forbidden from cutting or trimming their hair).

Yikes. -20 points from Gryffindor.


Another hallmark of tween fiction for girls is that it revolves around core emotional needs of a girl versus a high stakes plot. This doesn’t mean it’s devoid of action. It’s just that the action often involves everyday battles (i.e. how to get invited to that slumber party). One could argue that these books are really the 21st century version of the 19th century domestic novel, mirroring the everyday experiences of girls ages 11 through 13. This is not to say that they are also devoid of tension. They are not. But the tension is mostly emotional and centered around the security of key friendships.

To be honest, I’ve never read a “tween” novel or Little Women, but it’s an interesting comparison.