Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Shreya Shirodkar Ms. Lane American Literature January 17, 2014 Laurie Halse Anderson: Changing the Scope of Young Adult Fiction How do you write about the major, live-changing events of people you've never met? How do you write about sensitive issues in an engaging, but still thought-provoking way? How do you write about your own demons so that others do not follow your path? Writer Laurie Halse Anderson could provide the answers to these questions. Written at a time when difficult topics, such as sexual harassment, were just beginning to be spoken about, her stories were a combination of her struggles and the struggles of teens across the country. Through her gift of storytelling, Laurie has brought previously taboo topics, such as date rape and depression, to the attention of teenagers and adults worldwide. LIFE Shockingly, this world famous young adult novelist did not always enjoy writing. Born in Potsdam, New York in 1961, Laurie initially had trouble reading and writing, but learned and eventually excelled in both as a result of the guidance she received from supportive teachers. Laurie specifically thanks her second grade teacher, who helped her realize that writing was Ã¢â¬Å"coolÃ¢â¬ (Anderson) during a lesson on haikus. Despite her newfound appreciation of writing, Laurie still didnÃ¢â¬â¢t want to become a writer; instead, she wanted to become a doctor ("Laurie Halse Anderson")! Unfortunately for her, Laurie was not very good at either mathematics or chemistry. For her final year of high school, Laurie decided to do something different. As part of a studentÃ¢â¬â¢s exchange program, Laurie traveled to Denmark to study, where she had to work on a pig farm. Her experiences in Denmark helped her to grow into an independent young woman. After... ... home from WWII. Late at night, Laurie would hear her father shrieking, having nightmares about the war. As her fatherÃ¢â¬â¢s condition worsened, Laurie grew increasingly detached from the man she once knew and loved. Recalling the pain of that period in her life, Laurie wrote the story The Impossible Knife of Memory. In the story, the main character Hayley is attempting to take care of her father, who has PTSD. It can be assumed that some of HayleyÃ¢â¬â¢s experiences were actually LaurieÃ¢â¬â¢s own experiences. Today, Laurie has moved on from the past and shares a good rapport with her father, who unfortunately still suffers from PTSD (Deutsch). Throughout her youth, Laurie suffered from a disease of her own: body image issues. She was made of fun by her peers and was even called Ã¢â¬Å"Baby HippoÃ¢â¬ (Anderson). For years, Laurie had an Ã¢â¬Å"unhealthy relationship with foodÃ¢â¬ (???) Ã¢â¬Æ'