2016 has given me much already, three months into the year. However the year also appears to be taking, and in the form of inspiration lives. Let us pay homage to two dear writers, each on either end of the literary spectrum but still just as great as one another.
Earlier this year, we saw the departure of a truly clever woman – Ms Harper Lee. Her bestselling novel, and world renowned story of To Kill A Mockingbird came as a slap to the face during a time of racial injustice across American society. Her 1960 novel immediately won the Pulitzer Price as it highlighted the segregation and prejudice those who were of different ethnicity and race received. Her story went on to set an example, both to the audience at the time and to youths today. To Kill A Mockingbird is now a well-studied novel in schools across the globe, and a constant reminder of the discrimination that stood merely fifty years ago. Harper Lee will forever be the woman who helped mould American society for the better – and that’s exactly the honour she deserves.
The sad news also came a day ago from HarperCollins that YA author, Louise Rennison, had passed away at the age of 63. As a child, her Georgia Nicholson collection made me laugh and cry. They earned a solid place on my bookshelf and sold well enough to earn a movie adaption, under the name of Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging. While her work didn’t go on to influence wider society or highlight immorality in government – it touched each reader as she provided a tender story of love, friendship and consequently growing up. Her spirit and comedy will live on through her writing, and the YA world will be missing a hero.