Can or should authors only write books for children if they themselves are still young or childlike enough? And when is ‘old’ still considered ‘young enough’? In the book Hoe oud is jong? (How old is young?), Vanessa Joosen advocates for greater awareness of the concept of age as a social construct. She provides insight into important views and theories within age studies and how they interact with societal visions on age and ageing. In doing so, she uses and encourages an open view of age norms and encourages constructive dialogue between people of different ages and generations. For this book, she interviewed twelve British, Flemish, and Dutch authors who have written books for both young and old readers, and who moreover released their debuts at a very young age or have had long writing careers: David Almond, Aidan Chambers, Anne Fine, Ed Franck, Guus Kuijer, Bart Moeyaert, Aline Sax, Hilde Vandermeeren, Joke van Leeuwen, Edward van de Vendel, Jacqueline Wilson, and Anna Woltz. Based on these conversations, Vanessa Joosen tackles the question of how these authors manage or have managed to bridge that (perceived) distance between young and old.
Joosen, Vanessa. Hoe oud is jong?