The cover for my next anthology, THE RADICAL ELEMENT, was recently revealed on the USA Today blog and I wanted to share it here as well:
I love that it’s a deep rose pink. Pink is my favorite color, and the cover very nearly matches my newly dyed pink hair, which you can see on my Instagram! I love the silhouette girl and the way her hair blows forward in the wind. And I love the four corner images, which represent the breadth of the anthology so well: Erin Bowman’s cross-dressing, poker-playing stevedore in her Old West story, “The Magicians”; Anna-Marie McLemore’s ambitious, magical Latina actress in her story of 1920s Hollywood, “Glamour”; Sara Farizan’s Iranian immigrant 80s punk rocker from her story, “Take Me With U”; and my own high-wire walker, Ruby, from my circus story set in 1905 Tulsa, “Step Right Up.”
“Respect yourself,” she says. “Respect, and perhaps, one day, even love yourself. It’s the most radical decision you can make.”
Respect yourself. Love yourself. As radical a decision for an American girl to make today as it was in 1927, as radical for a student as for a spy, for a printer’s apprentice or a poker player. It’s a radical decision when you’re balancing on the tightrope of being a second-generation immigrant, of neurodivergence, of facing down American racism while loving America. It’s the only decision when you’ve weighed society’s expectations and found them wanting.
With respect and love, twelve of the most talented writers working in young adult literature today —an impressive sisterhood that includes Marieke Nijkamp, Meg Medina, and Anna-Marie McLemore — have created a century and a half of heroines on the margins and in the intersections, young women of all colors and creeds standing up for themselves and their beliefs. They are ignoring their mothers’ wellmeant advice and forging their own paths — whether secretly learning Hebrew in early Savannah, using the family magic to pass as white in 1920s Hollywood, or singing in a feminist punk band in 1980s Boston. And they’re asking you to join them.
Edited by Jessica Spotswood, with stories by: