An Interview with Ken Liu, by Luc Reid (at Strange Horizons):
Many of my stories deal with the invisible bounds imposed on us by the legacy of history: colonialism, war, mass killings, power imbalances between different parts of the world and between different populations sharing the same space. These bounds infuse everything we experience and affect the fates of nations, peoples, families, and individuals. History is not just vast armies clashing on dark plains at night, but lived through by real men and women related to us. It is deeply personal.
Jessica Roake, writing for Slate Magazine:
The problem is that Catcher in the Rye is no longer a book for cool high school students. Catcher in the Rye is a book for cool high school teachers.
I haven't read Black Swan Green but she makes an outstanding case for it. And even if BSG isn't the replacement, she certainly hits the nail on the head here:
The perfect teenage book should feel like it’s being passed around secretly, its message too raw and powerful for adults to understand. It should inspire highlighting and ponderous margin notes that embarrass you 20 years later. Most of all, it should feel like it’s speaking directly to you, and only you, even if everyone else in your class is working on the same essay question.
Which just makes me ask: If not Catcher in the Rye, and if not Black Swan Green, then what? What's my nomination? What's yours?