Whenever I hear someone my age say, "they didn't have teen books like that back when I was a teen," I point to the most amazing Norma Klein.
Sadly out of print; go over to Jezebel to see just how awesome Klein's books are. I almost want to hunt down each and every one of those books on ebay right this moment. Except where would I put them? Sigh.
What's also interesting is that Klein had smart girls who had sex and -- wait for it -- didn't get punished for it. The books were set in that post-birth control pre-AIDS world of the 70s/early 80s; as Jezebel says, it's a world where "What if all we had to fear were the hearts we'd break or the hearts we'd take?"
Speaking of that era -- I'm really looking forward to Swingtown.
Back to Klein.
You may also know her thanks to the fictionalized Sunshine, best young Mom dying of cancer break your heart book ever, and the made for TV movies and TV show; or this Valerie Bertinelli movie based on one of her books (but I think they set the movie in California? Instead of NYC?)
I'm really enjoying this feature on Jezebel :)
I was just looking for Norma Klein in my library's catalog. I've forgotten which book it was (It's Okay If You Don't Love me, perhaps?, but I remember reading it and thinking it was much smarter than Judy Blume's Forever, while addressing some of the same issues.
I just found my original copy of Mom, The Wolf Man, And Me in my mother's attic. Made my heart leap to see it. I remember going into bookstores and heading directly to the Ks.
Glad to learn I'm not the only one with fond remembrance of Norma Klein's books. Viewed from California, her books gave a glimpse of a foreign culture: smart, urban, a bit Manhattan-myopic (but that comes with the culture). Great writer.
I bought every out of print Norma Klein book on Amazon. My favorite book ever is IT'S OKAY IF YOU DON'T LOVE ME. I still read it before starting to write a new teen book, it's so brilliant.
So glad you wrote about Norma Klein. I loved her books when I was growing up in the early 80's. I gave away most of her books, then spent years tracking them all down again and buying them back to complete my collection. I re-read her books to this day; like old friends from childhood. Reprint Norma Klein!
I read Norma Klein books as a teen in the 90s. They were still in print and I bought several from mall bookstores as well as borrowed them from libraries. 2 of her books are now back in print, Domestic Arrangments and Sunshine have been reissued by Lizzie Skurnick Books.
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