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Today’s world can often seem extremely anti-LGBTQ, with society feeling oppressive toward people who fall outside the line of heterosexually. But there is still a lot of good news, especially with the recent news about the book called Julian Is a Mermaid.
The book is a children’s picture book that tells the story of a young boy called Julian who comes to terms with his queer identity, showcasing his attempts at dressing in woman’s clothing and how his nana reacts to his attempts to embrace his new identity. The author and illustrator Jessica Love, who was partly inspired by a trans friend, never expected it to be published. After all, many U.K. and U.S. imprints are yanking books off shelves who have gay or trans protagonists, with children’s work a big victim of this unfortunate practice.
Image via Amazon
On Sept 11, Jessica Love was proven wrong when her book won the much coveted Klaus Flugge prize. The prize goes to the most exciting newcomer in children’s book illustration and on Wednesday night, Jessica Love took it home. The judges called the book ‘astonishingly beautiful’ and were further quote as saying:
‘Julian Is a Mermaid reminds us that picture books can make us understand the world differently and better; that they are for everyone. It is a groundbreaking book.’
Love went onto note that the recaption had been mostly positive but there was some hostility toward her work for supposedly spreading the ‘gay agenda.’ She noted Julian is a Mermaid was drawn from her own personal life, with Julian’s nana based off her own queer role modes, her aunt and her aunt’s wife. She wanted a book that could provide the support she received to millions around the world.
Image VIa Letstalkpicturebooks.com
She is extremely humbled to win the prize and is now working on a sequel, again featuring Julian and his nana. She found the book’s success totally gratifying and paralyzing at the same time. She hopes to continue to give her characters further life, while hoping the success doesn’t overwhelm her. But with the amount of joy and praise she has received from the LBGTQ community, she is likely to continue to soar upward much like Julian himself.
Featured Image Via The Guardian
Good news for fans of Hilary Mantel! Her final historical novel, centered around protagonist Thomas Cromwell, completing the trilogy of works around the life of the famous English statesman, according to The Guardian. The first two novels were titled Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, the first novel charting Cromwell’s rise to greatness, while the second began to show the situation that would lead to Cromwell’s real life execution. The final novel, entitled The Mirror and the Light, will cover the final four years of Cromwell’s life, leading to his death by beheading in 1540.
Image via Amazon
It’s been eight years since the last segment of the Cromwell story, so it should come as no small release to fans to see that publisher HarperCollins has officially announced that The Mirror and the Light will debut in early 2020, March to be exact. For her part, Hilary Mantel said she had a ‘long journey’ with her protagonist and hopes that readers will see his life through to the end as she has. The publisher has noted the final novel is every bit as engaging as the first two, being immersive and casting a new light on politics through the novel’s themes. The novel plays out like a relationship between predator and prey, as Thomas finds himself losing allies, surrounded on all sides, as the clock ticks closer to the inevitable as the year of his death looms on the horizon.
Mantel answered a few questions from fans, including whether she had trouble killing off her longtime protagonist. In response, she said:
“People ask me if I’m having trouble killing off Thomas Cromwell. No, why would I? It is 10 years’ worth of effort and it is lovely to have the encouragement of people who are waiting for it, but that’s why I want to deliver them something that is the very best.”
Well, it certainly feels like the author is committed to ending the series on the best possible foot and sticking to her guns! This is sure to be a huge release when it comes next year. Are you excited? Tell us!
Featured Image Via The TLS