Aug 26, 2008

Teen Tuesday - Quick, Hyde!

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of ten novels and many short stories. She also happens to have three books in my to read pile. I decided that with my current interest in her, I wanted to find out a little more about her and her experiences as a writer. She has done some guest blogs for other Teen Tuesday members on their main blogs and various other interviews and commentary can be found online.

A while ago I blogged about starting Chasing Windmills and how much I was enjoying reading it. The content matter is a little difficult for me to read, so I have been slow with continuing it. So many aspects of the book and the writing style really struck a cord with me. When I was contacted regarding reading another Hyde book, I quickly jumped at the chance to own a copy of Love in the Present Tense. And the last time I was at the library I went ahead and picked up the only novel they have of hers, Pay It Forward.
Catherine Ryan Hyde was born in 1955 (you can do the math on that if you really care!)





Interestingly, Pay It Forward was not originally intended to be a young adult publication but it became a crossover success and Hyde decided to publish more book in the young adult classification. She is an avid hiker and greatly enjoys the outdoors. This interest has even brought her to my home state of Utah. I found these pictures of her visiting some of the beautiful rock formations on her website.


In a California Readers interview conducted early this summer Hyde shares the pieces of writing that influenced her the most growing up.
People think I'm joking, but my first really influential author was Dr. Suess. There was a message behind his words. He was always stressing equanimity, dignity. Individual worth. Plus he was entertaining. I still enjoy Dr. Suess to this very day. Later, as a young adult, I read BLESS THE BEASTS AND CHILDREN. FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON. ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST. OF MICE AND MEN. The plays TWELVE ANGRY MEN and A RAISIN IN THE SUN. I think this is when I began to know that my own writing would be in defense of the social underdog.
She continues (on a Story Siren guest post) that she likes these books "because they were about character I could understand. People who felt 'other.' People who almost nobody wanted to know in real life. But exploring them in fiction brings out their humanity."

Here is Catherin Ryan Hyde on the Today show talking about her books in general and Love in the Present Tense specifically.


Anne Curry says to Hyde, "You tend to write what people don't expect to read." I think this comment connects on a very deep level with Hyde's interest in marginal characters and her understanding of humanity.

Teen Tuesday is the day we set aside for teen book lovers visit with each other to find out what's being read in the world of young adult literature. You can comment whether you are a participant or not. Visit all the posters at teentuesday.blogspot.com.

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