Friday, 3 February 2017

FEBRUARY'S AUTHOR by Sharon Tregenza


Judith Sussman was born on February 12, 1938, in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

She was the second child of Esther and Rudolph Sussman. Her natural creativity was encouraged by her parents and she enjoyed piano lessons and dancing as well as reading. She says: "When I was growing up, I dreamed about becoming a cowgirl, a detective, a spy, or a ballerina. Not a dentist like my father, or a homemaker, like my mother - certainly not a writer, although I always loved to read and lmake up stories inside my head."

Blume's stories were a secret source of pleasure "I made up stories while I bounced a ball against the side of our house. I made up stories playing with paper dolls. And I made them up while I practised the piano by pretending to give piano lessons. I even kept a notebook with the names of my pretend students and how they were doing. I always had an active imagination. But I never wrote down any of my stories. And I never told anyone about them."

When her own two children started preschool - she began to write and published her first novel in 1969.

Blume has been credited with being one of the first authors to write YA novels about subjects that some people considered taboo. From masturbation and menstruation to teen sex, death and birth control.  The American Library Association named her as one of the most frequently challenged authors of the 21st century.

She says: "I wanted to be honest. And I felt that no adult had been honest with me."

She now lives in New York City and Key West Florida with her husband, George Cooper. Between them they have three grown children and one grandchild, whose first word was "book".

Interesting facts about Judy Blume and her work:

1. Despite her critics, Blume's books have sold more than 85 million and have been translated into almost three dozen languages.

2. The film version of Blume's 1981 novel Tiger Eyes was directed by her son, Lawrence Blume.

3. In 1951 and 1952, there were three aeroplane crashes in her hometown of Elizabeth. Blume's father, a dentist, helped identify the remains of the 118 people who died.

Twitter: @sharontregenza


Penny Dolan said...

The Judy Blume books were always very popular in school, and she has written adult novels too. Always intrigued by whoever you'll find to be your Author of the Month, Sharon.

Sharon Tregenza said...

Thank you, Penny. I'm enjoying doing the research. x