School Library Journal: On Falcon Quinn, JB, and diversity issues for YA readers

The amazing Betsy Bird posted this truly sweet interview with me, about Falcon Quinn, on the School Library Journal blog today:

falconQuinnTitle
I don’t often host folks who’ve appeared on Oprah, Larry King, The Today Show, and a Barbara Walters Special (just to name a few).  Few of the authors I speak to in my interviews have been portrayed on Saturday Night Live by Will Forte.  And fewer still are on the judging committee of the Fulbright Scholars.  But that’s the thing about Jenny Boylan, you see.  She keeps you guessing.  You don’t know what she’s gonna do next.  Like, say, for example, write a middle grade novel about a boy who, at the onset of adolescence, discovers that he’s turning into a monster.  That’s the premise of Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirroron one level.  On another level you have a story within a story that I think a lot of kids are going to be able to identify with.  Ladies and gentlemen, it is my supreme honor to introduce to you the newest voice in the children’s literary sphere.  One, I assure you, that you have not encountered before.

Fuse #8: You are, to the best of my knowledge, the only transwoman to successfully publish a work of children’s fiction with a major publisher in the United States under her own name.  To say that you are groundbreaking is to put it mildly, and this is but one of your many accomplishments.  You’ve written for numerous periodicals, appeared on multiple television shows, taught creative writing as a professor, and on and on it goes.  Care to give us the full background and lowdown on who exactlyJenny Boylan is?

Jennifer Finney Boylan: Well, that makes me sound quite fabulous, I must say. But I guess I just see myself as a storyteller.  I know I’m seen as some sort of spokeswoman for civil rights but the only thing I really know how to do is tell stories.  Still, that’s a good day’s work, isn’t it?

It’s true that being trans has given me the opportunity to tell a particular kind of story that hasn’t generally been told, at least not by someone trained as a writer, and I’m grateful for that.  It seems to me that we can break through to people with stories in a way that we can’t in any other way.  My mother has a saying, “It is impossible to hate anyone whose story you know.”  And so I have tried to tell stories of people who are…

(click here for the rest of the interview…)

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3 Comments

  1. Margie
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jen, I couldn’t find the rest of the interview using the link ……. I’m so anxious to read the rest of that raving review!
    Margie

  2. Margie
    Posted October 30, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Ahhh …. found it! Great interview Jenny!

  3. Brock
    Posted November 26, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Is there going to be a third Falcon Quinn book?

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  • The Boylan Family, summer 2010

    DSC_0063 "You hang around our family, you learn all kinds of stuff."
  • Will Forte as Jennifer Finney Boylan on “Saturday Night Live”

    WiFo-Jennifer Finney Boylan-1
  • Jenny with Barbara Walters, December, 2008

    wawa
  • Jenny atop Maine’s Mount Katahdin

    2036947979_34bfbec240 August, 2002.
  • Surrounded

    boylanWith President Clinton and Maine's Governor John Baldacci, fall 2006.
  • JFB and Edward Albee

    edward_albee_by_fred_j_field-150x150

    Edward had been my teacher at Johns Hopkins in the winter of 1986. He visited Colby in fall, 2007. As we took our leave of each other, he kissed me on both cheeks and said, "We have done well. You and I."

  • Jenny and her teacher, the great John Barth

    Boylan_Barth

    Jack was my professor at JHU when I did my thesis, back in the day. After many years, I can now confidently say I finally understand his definition of plot. Which is, of course, "the perturbation of an unstable homeostatic system and its catastrophic restoration to a new and complexified equilibrium."