Kevin Cheek

May 12, 2012

Post #2931 – 20120512

I am undoubtedly a fan of your work. As a child, I was not a complete outsider, not the object of constant bullying and ridicule, and your books did not save my childhood. OK, I did have a rather unusual childhood, but I went to very good schools and had very good teachers. I was aware enough to realize, even as young as third grade, that I should be grateful for caring, intelligent, challenging teachers. I never even had many lazy or misguided teachers to compare them to–I was truly lucky! I mention all this to illustrate that your work appeals to many of us who did not have a parallel experience to your protagonists (along, or course, with those who did). What does appeal to me is the individuality and confidence of your characters–the fact that they can assemble the world from their own unique perspective. When that comes into conflict with the way we are often told the world works, the result is that rare, wonderful combination of humor and wisdom that makes great literature.

Daniel replies:

Yes?  So?  Are you under the impression that it matters to me whether readers of my work had childhoods out of Charles Dickens, or were born into families of enlightened billionaires?  Did you want to send this post to Maurice Sendak maybe, and since he has gone where the wild things are you sent it to me instead?  I never said that I thought my characters were outsiders. Some reviewer said that, and all the others then said it too.   I think they are insiders.  I am never sure what you are talking about, but I do think you have a lot of cheek.