Jen Doll’s YA debut novel comes out in September, but she’s been thinking about YA for a lot longer than she’s been writing it. Doll wrote the YA for Grownups column in the Atlantic Wire, and in 2013 she wrote a much-cited article for New York magazine defending adults who read YA and explaining what she likes about it. Unclaimed Baggage combines heavy themes (racism, sexism, addiction) with romance, mystery, and a deep sense of place as it tells the story of three teens in small-town Alabama who spend a summer working at a store that sells, as the title suggests, the contents of suitcases that go unclaimed at airports. Jen spoke with PW from her home in Brooklyn about how her feelings for YA have evolved, sexism, and why she loves summer.
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"This is the contemporary YA novel I wish I could have read during my teen years. It centers on three outcasts—a liberal in a conservative town, a new girl in town, and a star football player with a drinking problem—who take a job at a store that sells items from luggage left at airports. It explores what it means to be an outsider and the power of friendship." --Elizabeth Sile, Senior Editor, Features
Thank you, Real Simple!
Entertainment Weekly: YA expert Jen Doll previews her own YA debut, Unclaimed Baggage