How often does a person get to do something like this: Stephanie Anderson, head of reader services at Darien Library, will be sitting down on a stage in Greenwich Tuesday evening to interview a famous author whose books she devoured as a teenager.
“She’s meant so much to so many people,” said Anderson, who borrowed many of Judy Blume’s books from the local library in the Pennsylvania town she grew up in. “People love her so much that everyone can tell you which book of hers was a game-changer for them. It’s got to be a lot of pressure for a writer.”
Blume, a controversial author of young adult fiction and fiction for adults, is on a weeks-long book tour to publicize her latest work, “In the Likely Event,” one of her novels for adults which takes place in the New Jersey town where she grew up (at the time she grew up). Anderson will interview Blume at Greenwich Library at a sold-out event on Tuesday (standby tickets may be available, see below).
Blume’s young adult books tend to focus on one or two girls, Anderson said. “You’re really in their heads. You connect with all her characters instantly.” One reason for that is the same reason Blume continues to be so controversial — she writes about teenagers making the kinds of decisions teenagers make about controversial subjects, like having sex.
“Particularly for teen and pre-teen girls, often one of her books will be the first time they read about some of these subjects,” Anderson said.
In one of Blume’s books, “Forever …”, a teenage couple is very much in love and decided to have sex. The author treats the subject “as fairly normal — they’re fairly reasonable about it.” The subject is brought up plainly and frankly, but not in a graphic or pornographic way, but it’s one of the reasons Blume’s books get thrown out of libraries, Anderson said.
Among the subjects Anderson is planning to ask Blume about: How does she decide to write a book (like her latest one) for either adults or young adults,
Anderson’s current job involves supervising the front desk and children’s desk at the library. She came to Darien three years ago after working at Word book store in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where she was involved in many author events and got to know Blume’s publicist.
They kept in touch over the years, and between that connection and knowing some of the staff at Greenwich Library, Anderson was asked to conduct the interview, which takes place at Cole Auditorium in Greenwich Library, starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 23 (those with tickets are asked to arrive at 6 p.m.).
(Unfortunately, the event is already sold out, although hopeful [desperate?] fans can show up at the door beginning at 6 p.m. to get a chance at snagging standby tickets. Greenwich Library is at 101 W. Putnam Ave., a bit beyond Greenwich Avenue.)