M. T. Anderson is defending the intelligence of teenagers, and he’s getting quite worked up about it.
“It’s insulting to believe that teens should have a different kind of book than an adult should,” says the author of “Feed” and, most recently, “The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation.” Teens like challenges, he says. They know the world is complicated, and “they can tell when a book is simplifying life.”
And hey: “If we’re going to ask our kids at age 18 to go off to war and die for their country, I don’t see any problem with asking them at age 16 to think about what that might mean.”
I’ve wondered if Mr. Anderson’s friends call him “M. T.”–it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Turns out he’s a “Tobin.”