In this week's Time, author Jennifer Egan addressed the importance of literature in a world where most people get their us-vs-them news from social media. "Literature, like democracy, is built of a plurality of ideas," she says. "By writing and reading, we remind ourselves of the value of empathy, subtlety and contradiction."
As writers for the youngest readers, we should be keenly aware of how our books mold the social consciousness of the future. All writers have a bias, and I've always felt that children's writers lean toward hope, acceptance, tolerance, peace, and love. In light of that fact, I can't imagine how I would write a book with our current president as the protagonist. He offers no hope. He does not accept facts,.He is intolerant of differing views. He stirs up discord and hate, and seems to love only himself and money.
Egan ends with this call to arms: "We need to write now, write well--tell the truth in all its messy complexity. It's our best shot at helping to preserve a democracy in which facts still exist and all of us can speak freely."
Or as the sign on my office door says: