Books by Cathy Young

ONE HOT SECOND by Cathy Young
Released: June 11, 2002

Twelve incandescent short stories work as guaranteed attention-getters for older adolescents. Featuring some of the best YA writers in the business, this collection concentrates on the fleeting moments of first love. Some protagonists win and some lose, but all learn new lessons about life. Most of the stories deal with sex, although readers will find nothing pornographic here. Ellen Wittlinger begins with an insightful portrayal of an innocent girl confronting the death of a boy she loved from afar, leading her to understand the difference between real love and adolescent fantasies. Nancy Garden, Jacqueline Woodson, and Emma Donoghue supply gay and lesbian entries, all sensitively done. The rest, by such luminaries as Norma Fox Mazer and Victor Martinez, explore the often-fumbling attempts at heterosexual love of boys and girls trying to be men and women. Among the subjects are a young poet who loses his first real chance for sex, a fat girl who loses weight and finally confronts the years of insecurity it has caused her, and a girl who escapes her awful home life with a boy who matches her love of offbeat music. Simply put, these stories are stunners. Deep, bold, and tender, they touch the reality of adolescence. Young readers will find subject matter they crave, and more. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1999

A call for men and women to stand down from the gender wars, culminating with a 12-step program that is intended to lay common ground in "trying to make life better for all of us—women, men, and our children." The author's thesis is that, as feminists of the 1970s achieved the goals they appropriately sought—i.e., equality in the workplace and elsewhere in society—ideologies hardened. Young disputes the feminist belief that the personal is political; what's personal is personal, she claims, and the battle for equal rights is not an excuse for portraying men as "fundamentally malevolent." Although feminists themselves are divided regarding various issues—pornography, most visibly—they share, according to the author, "a propensity for sweeping statements based on modest evidence." Young offers evidence that other basic feminist credos are mistaken: e.g., that male violence is directed primarily against women or that male privilege comes without any price (men die younger, she points out). Young, a journalist who describes herself as a "dissident feminist," contends that rape is not a bias crime. She also examines the men's movement, where men often take on the role of victim, and what she views as the confused response from political conservatives regarding gender roles. The 12 steps to an egalitarian society include such seemingly innocuous (but, on examination, distinctly provocative) propositions as "Take gender politics out of the war on domestic violence" and "In politics, stop treating women as an interest group and acting as if women's claims were more legitimate than men's." A bucket of cool water on whiners of both sexes, along with a convincing appeal to look "fairly and compassionately at both sides of these conflicts." Read full book review >
Released: May 16, 1989

Unique, often fascinating view of contemporary (though pre-glasnost) Soviet life by an appealing, articulate young writer—now an American citizen living in New Jersey—who arrived in the US in 1980 at the age of 17. Young presents a picture of Russian children pampered by doting families—to the occasional distress of teachers and old-timers who remember the sacrifices of the past and decry the lack of commitment in the generation. The daughter of educated Jewish professionals, Katya attended a special school requiring an admissions exam. (A quota system reserved at least some places for working-class children but elitism was pronounced: workers' children had a difficult social adjustment and often showed behavior problems.) Her account, rich in Russian humor, includes personal views of: the infamous shortages and lines for food and consumer goods; alcoholism; regular political meetings; required "volunteer" duty without pay; literature and entertainment. Young's own family was unusual: her freethinking parents shared their views with her from an early age. She assumed at first that everyone played the amusing game of saying one thing publicly while thinking another; disillusion set in when she realized that seemingly cynical friends who coveted all things Western would not entertain any real doubts of the system. Though her passion for individual freedom made Young a Soviet misfit, and she has plenty to criticize, her tone is humane and often humorous, making this a pleasant as well an an eye-opening tale. Read full book review >