Pamela Laskin will discuss and read from her novel, THE LOST LANGUAGE OF CRAZY. She will also discuss the need for books that address mental illness in middle grade and young adult fiction. Q & A to follow.
Is it possible to wake up one day and be emptied of words? For a writer, this would be an unimaginable nightmare, but for any of us, this would be a terrifying ordeal. What happens when we lose our voice? On the flip side, what happens when we are plagued with many voices?
THE LOST LANGUAGE OF CRAZY explores the terrain of mental illness from the point of view of its twelve-year old narrator, Penny, who has grown up believing her mother is dead. The novel opens with the protagonist's desire to finish writing a play, which she is incapable of doing, since she does not know how the play ends, while her best friend, formerly a girl, yearns to play the dad. This is a story about words and language; gender confusion and the secrets surrounding it; silence and lies; mental illness and a writer's journey.
Pamela L. Laskin is a lecturer in the English Department at City College, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate Children’s Writing, and directs the Poetry Outreach Center. Several of her children’s and poetry books have been published. RONIT AND JAMIL, A Palestinian/Israeli ROMEO AND JULIET in verse was published by Harper Collins in 2017, and was named among the35 books to have on your radar for 2017. BEA, a picture book, was a finalist for the Katherine Paterson Prize for Children’s Fiction. She is the winner of the 2018 International Fiction Prize from Leapfrog Press, and WHY NO BHINE, an epistolary novel about the Rohinya Muslims, was published in 2019. The Operating System recently published a bilingual picture book, MONSTER MARIA, which is about Hurricane Maria, and is being used as a fundraiser for after-school programs in Puerto Rico. Linus Press recently published MY SECRET WISH about families seeking asylum, and also being used as a fundraiser.
Follow her: twitter@RonitandJamil and follow her blog: http://PamelaLaskin.blogspot.com/