A Note from Me (Aug 21, 2020)

Dear friends:

Happy 100th anniversary, Women’s Suffrage! There is a really wonderful opera by Virgil Thomson and his pal Gertrude Stein about Susan B. Anthony, and while I won’t make you sit through the whole thing, go to 1:34:50 to watch Susan B.’s GORGEOUS closing aria. “Do you know because I tell you so, or do you know, do you know.” Elissa has pulled together some good resources to mark the occasion.

On Monday the Horn Book had its annual staff retreat, which normally takes place in my dining room, this year virtually, via Teams. It just wasn’t the same without the snacks (my fault, my fault, my grievous fault) or Brownie under the table, but we did get a good ways toward mapping out the 2021 annual May/June special issue, which will be devoted to Latino/a/x literature for children, in honor of next year’s 25th anniversary of the Pura Belpré Award. ¡Ven con nosotrxs!

I’ve been spending a lot of time this week couch-surfing the Himalayas (unlike my dear friend Tom, who has actually climbed the Himalayas and in fact twice bumped into — I do hope not literally — Sir Edmund Hillary on the trail). Imagining I had a prime window seat in this hotel, I started with Barbara Demick’s new Eat the Buddha: Life and Death in a Tibetan Town; which led me to the Dalai Lama’s 1962 My Land and My People; as well as to, less-reputably, the Brad Pitt movie Seven Years in Tibet (based on Heinrich Harrer’s memoir of the same name, but I’m full up) which, albeit peopled with Cute Brad and Cuter David Thewlis and gorgeous (Argentinian) mountainscapes, could never be made today, the white-men-meeting-natives encounters filled with yikes. (For a snappy contemporary take on intrepid white men in the Land of Snows, try Charlie Carroll’s adventure memoir Peaks on the Horizon.)

And my excursion has not only taught me about Tibet, it has taught me the blessings of a good marriage: would your husband sit with you for two and a half hours to watch the infamous Ross Hunter/Larry Kramer/Burt Bacharach Lost Horizon you said you needed to see “for work”? Bette Midler said she never missed a Liv Ullmann musical, and we did not. Thank you, dearest, for indulging me, as you have for Nine Years in Wedded Bliss, as of yesterday, which anniversary we celebrated with the finest Indian takeout I have ever had.



Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.

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