|The Reader by Fragonard|
In June of this year, Meghan Cox Gurdon’s article “Darkness Too Visible” was published in the Wall Street Journal. The following quote gives a taste of the tenor of the article:
“Pathologies that went undescribed in print 40 years ago, that were still only sparingly outlined a generation ago, are now spelled out in stomach-clenching detail [...] If books show us the world, teen fiction can be like a hall of fun-house mirrors, constantly reflecting back hideously distorted portrayals of what life is. There are of course exceptions, but a careless young reader—or one who seeks out depravity—will find himself surrounded by images not of joy or beauty but of damage, brutality and losses of the most horrendous kinds.”
Parents are urged to be vigilant in protecting children from “book industry's ever-more-appalling offerings for adolescent “and publishers who “try to bulldoze coarseness or misery into their children's lives.”
Naturally the article provoked uproar among supporters of contemporary YA fiction, provoking more than 15,000 responses.