Letters Good Writing For All Ages Essay

Letters: Good Writing For All Ages Essay, Research Paper

Good writing for all agesI find your comment that Terry Pratchett’s books are mainly read by teenagers insulting (’Pied Piper’ brings belated literary reward, July 13). I am 29 and an avid reader. My husband, 36, my father, 54, and my friends, 20’s-40’s, are all fans. I have even converted two of my work colleagues to the discworld series. I don’t know any teenagers who read him, although I’m sure there are some. I wish critics would stop equating populism with bad literature. A book that keeps us turning the page is what most want, not naval-gazing tripe by Amis and his ilk. It took me three days and sleep deprivation to read the latest Pratchett. I never did finish London Fields. Cora Jevams Blidworth, Notts · It’s a pity Cora Jevams (Letters, July 16), in protesting about a comment that Terry Pratchett’s books are mainly read by teenagers, should imply that that would be an insulting thing to say. Books read by young people are not “bad literature”, as she seems to say in another sentence. Terry Pratchett (whose Carnegie Medal I warmly welcome: it’s high time) has the very best sort of readership, one that includes people of all ages. But even if his books were read only by children, why would that mean that they were worthless? A children’s book is not just a book that isn’t any good. That’s just as false and reductive as saying that popular books can’t be worth reading. There are good books that are read mainly by children and good books that are read mainly by adults. Cora Jevams wishes critics would stop equating populism with bad literature: I wish people would stop using “children’s book” as an insult. Philip Pullman Oxford · As a 31-year-old fan of Terry Pratchett, I’m insulted by Ms Jevams’s being insulted at the idea that his books are mainly read by teenagers. Does the fact that the majority of readers of classic literature are now teenagers at school mean that John Donne is inferior to Tom Clancy? Karen Abbott Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, USA


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