Thursday Book Beat: The ‘Girl’, the Cursed Child Rumours, and Some Literary Awards, Oh My

The Girl on the Train coverHi WWAC readers and all my fellow contributors, Ashley here and I’m taking over the Thursday Book Beat column for a while. Thank you Angel and fellow writers for all your contributions, I read your articles with delight and hope to contribute and inject as much personality in my writing as you do. So here we go…

Upon starting my shift at the large bookstore I work at (wont name it, but my fellow Canadians will know it) I stumbled across a table that held around 20 different books that had ‘Girl’ in the title. It was a trend I had noticed before but the number of books I saw was startling. With The Girl on the Train coming to theatres and the success of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, it’s not hard to see how other books have followed suit.

What strikes me is these kinds of generic ‘girl’ titles are always in reference to characters that are women. There is a divide I noticed as well, in that the label of ‘girl’ is given to unruly, not conforming, seemingly difficult female characters like Lisbeth Salander and the protagonist of the other Swedish crime thriller The Crow Girl. Or we see the label given in romantic comedies, like JoJo Moyes’ The Girl You Left Behind. Rarely do we see the title of ‘girl’ actually given to a female child. Why are we reducing our strong, complex female characters to childish misnomers?

I also have to note the collective wave of fear and confusion when the rumors that Cursed Child would be made into a three-part film circulated. Thankfully those rumors are just rumors and were debunked by Warner Bros. This book has stuck with me and continues to make headlines and not for positive reasons. Do fans really want to see a continuation? Or can we finally put the world of Hogwarts to rest with the rest of our nostalgia? Perhaps the release of Cursed Child was (rightfully) ruined by Rowling’s use of Native American culture as character props. As Jesse Williams said “just because [they’re] magic doesn’t mean [they’re] not real.” Or maybe it’s the fans’ disappointment over the portrayal of Albus and Scorpius’s relationship; an opportunity for Rowling to expand the Harry Potter universe’s LGBTQ characters that she didn’t take. Vox wrote a great article that eloquently explains why it was a big mistake for Rowling. Whatever the reason, we’re done with Harry Potter.

In other book news, the prestigious Canadian Scotiabank Giller Prize long list has been announced. Writers include: Emma Donoghue who has found success with Room is nominated for her new book The Wonder, and Mona Awad’s 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl that also won the First Novel award. The winner will be announced on Nov. 7 and most often winners enjoy a spike in their sales. For more info check out the announcement.

Happy Thursday and happy reading!

Ashley Ash

Ashley Ash

Ashley is a proud Torontonian, third year social worker student, full time child advocate and national award winning writer. She will defend Anakin Skywalker and Jon Snow till she dies.

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