Our Masterpieces...Err, Our Novels

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for...Incest

Controversial Song of the Day:  "The Sweetest Taboo" by Sade

For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.

Taken from cutcaster.com
So we've hit some pretty taboo issues during the first week:  drugs, eating disorders, and guns. But incest? In YA novels? Yeah, we can already see parents fainting.
There are no hardcore statistics to give you on incest because...well, people just don't talk about it. Yet, there are PLENTY of authors that do not shy away from this topic (at least according to Library Thing):
I will admit to reading Forbidden, and it was so beautifully written that I immediately looked up the author to find her other books. In fact, it's probably one of my favorite books now--but I made sure to read it in the privacy of my  home. I worried that if someone caught me reading it, I'd have to explain what it was about (I know, I'm awful).

So, why do you all think that incest is such a "hot topic" in novels? Can you think of any other book that hints at this issue?


Jennifer Pickrell said...

Brother/Sister by Sean Olin hints at it.

Melanie Conklin said...

Ooh- Great topic! I recall feeling hideously uncomfortable reading Oedipus in high school. Now I'm writing a historic YA novel where "cousins" often marry. It takes perspective to understand the nuance and layers of human interaction. In our world these days, every line is eventually crossed, and telling the stories is more important than ever.

Unknown said...

I haven't read any books with incest. I've heard about Forbidden, tho. There are some areas where I live (United Arab Emirates), where marrying family is still done...mostly cousins marrying each other. Most have moved away from that, tho.

Em-Musing said...

Hmm? As long as the the message in the story where there's incest depicts it as an awful act. I don't like normalizing wretched behavior.
It's a tough subject, and too many people have been or are victims of it.

Rachel said...

I have to be honest...I've never really read a book about incest except HOW I LIVE NOW (and with that one, I just pretended they weren't cousins so I didn't make myself freak out). I think incest is such a tough topic to write about, and it is something I struggle with WANTING to read. I do think its an important thing to write about.

In the Creative Writing class we TA for, today we spoke about topics that are hard to write about (i.e. abortion, incest, Gay/Lesbian/Transgender/etc) and how it is hard to sell them too.

(I also wish there was more college lit out there!)

Ghenet Myrthil said...

I have a copy of Forbidden and I've heard it's amazing. I know it's going to be an uncomfortable read, but I'm interested to see how the author handles this.

Unknown said...

I remember the Flowers in the Attic series from when I was a kid. Incest is one of those things whispered about in dark corners like it's a dirty word. I think a lot of people who go through it don't talk about it because they feel ashamed, so to publicize it is a sticky situation. A lot of times incest goes hand in hand with rape, which is also a tricky topic.

Anonymous said...

I read the first three books and I have Forbidden.

The idea of incest gives people the creepy-crawly feeling.

Trisha said...

Definitely a controversial topic! I've only read Flowers in the Attic, and while I was compelled by the story, I never got past the ickiness of the incest.

Sarah said...

I have also read Flowers in the Attic. I was unphased by it, of course, I was also in 8th grade at the time when I read it. If the author handles the topic well (which depends on your definition of "well" and comfort level) then I'm fine with it. I'll have to look up Suzuma's book.

Sarah @ The Writer's Experiment