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Walking Away with Small Caps

One sign of how much Sir Terry Pratchett's work affected this reader/writer that a day after his passing, I still tear up when I read others' tributes. His death has affected me more than that of any other writer I have admired--there's a sense of tremendous loss.

I think it's because Terry Pratchett offered something rare. Neil Gaiman gets at it in his wonderful revelation "Terry Pratchett Isn't Jolly. He's Angry." Reading his novels, particularly once Discworld was firmly established, that is easy to see. Carpe Jugulum, Monstrous Regiment, Thud, and Snuff are filled with the same sort of anger-inspired satire as Jonathan Swift's "Modest Proposal."

In an age when anger overtly fuels politics, religion, and in far too many cases, social media, destroying trust and severing ties that should connect, Terry Pratchett offered the sort of laughter that comes from recognition, laughter that makes sometimes bitter truth much easier to swallow. He reminded us that human beings are strange and complex creatures, simultaneously marvels and dupes, fearful and brave, petty and honorable. What distinguished his heroes from his villains was that his heroes were capable of rising above their less admirable impulses and doing what needed to be done, even as they recognized the cost.

His Death, who always spoke in small caps, claimed him. He might have been ready; we were not. We needed that voice. We still do.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Mar. 13th, 2015 06:51 pm (UTC)
I agree! The world is emptier without him. :(
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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December 2015

Reading Raves

Nation (Terry Pratchett), Men of Salt (Michael Benanav), Paper Towns (John Green), Lavinia (Ursula K. LeGuin), Weight (Jeanette Winterson), The Wizard, the Witch & Two Girls from Jersey (Lisa Papademetriou), Beastly (Alex Flinn), Hogfather (Terry Pratchett), London Calling (Edward Bloor), Before I Die (Jenny Downham), My Mother the Cheerleader (Robert Sharenow), Antsy Does Time (Neal Shuesterman), Against Medical Advice (James Patterson & Hal Friedman), Wait for Me (An Na), Doppelganger (David Stahler), The Year We Disappeared (Cylin Busby, John Busby); Little Brother (Cory Doctorow); King of Screwups (K.L. Going), Tyrell (Coe Booth), Goth Girl Rising (Barry Lyga), Bad Apple (Laura Ruby), The Sky is Everywhere (Jandy Nelson), Hold Still (Nina LaCour), Will Grayson, Will Grayson (John Green & David Levitahn), Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto (Eric Luper), Ostrich Boys (Keith Gray), Front & Center (Catherine Gilbert Murdock), Twenty Boy Summer (Sarah Ockler), I Shall Wear Midnight (Terry Pratchett), Tales of the Madman Underground (John Barnes), Please Ignore Vera Dietz (A.S. King), Sex: A Book for Teens (Nikol Hasler), The Girl Who Became a Beatle (Greg Taylor), Crazy (Han Nolan), Pull (B.A. Binns), Pearl (Jo Knowles)

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