Freitag, 11. Mai 2012

Author / Title

“If you come softly” was written by Jacqueline Woodson in 1998. She is a three-time Newbery Honor winner. With this book she won three awards: ALA Best Book for Young Adults, Award Nominee (all readers) and in 2001 the Detroit Public Library Author’s Day Award.
According to her web side ( she wrote the book on Whidbey Island (close to Seattle), Washington and in New York.
Woodson wanted to write about the very first love implying difficulties and greatness. Personally she well remembers her own youth. The overall topic of “If you come softly” can be compared to Romeo and Juliet. 
The title of the book might bring some readers a first perverse impression. Because “to come” in everyday language can also mean to have an ejaculation. However Jacqueline Woodson was inspired by the poem from Audre Lorde which starts with the first four lines:
If you come softly
as the wind within the trees
you may hear what I hear
see what sorrow sees.
If you come softly: The title is written in a typeface close to Lucida Calligraphy which looks a little romantic and therefore (this is a well known stereotype) girlish.

The front picture on the book cover links to a romance because of the atmosphere: A girl and a boy facing each other in a lonely, romantic, wintery, snowy park. The street lights sheen through the snowy air. The cloths of the two young adults are fairly modern. The colour of the title is between blueviolet and darkorchid which is rather girlish (stereotype as well). 
On the back of the book is a picture of Jacqueline Woodson. Since the topic of the book deals with racism and the conflict of two young black and white adults the reader might be influence trough the picture of a black author. It would be same with a picture of a white author. People tend to think that authors write about their own perspective because they usually transfer a message. But since the lyrical I is the white girl there is no further hint that Woodson writes about personal experience. This would have been different if Woodson would have chosen a black girl and a white boy. Or does it make no difference?

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