Tuesday, August 3, 2010

She's indecisive/She can't decide/She keeps on looking/From left to right. - Justin Bieber, "Eenie Meenie"

So Justin Bieber's memoir is coming out in October. He's 16.

For the uninitiated, Bieber is a Canadian pop singer with shaggy hair and a very high voice. He's rather adorable, with catchy pop songs (I'm a sucker for a good pop song) and street cred thanks to his mentor, Usher. And, as one can tell from the lyrics above, his depth is well beyond his years. But a memoir at 16?

The fabulous literary agent Nathan Bransford tweeted yesterday: Justin Bieber is publishing a memoir. HE'S 16. How would your memoir have read at age 16?

The responses were quirky, lovely, and charming:
@KitchPantrySci Kansas winters.California summers.My life was a John Denver song.
@thmafi ate a few crayons and realized granny smith apple is not a flavor.
@clairehennessy Writing. Angst. Reading. Angst. School. Angst. Nerd camp. Angst. Fannish nerdiness. Angst.

A way to numb the shock, perhaps, of a memoir from a child whose voice still hasn't changed. But, as my mother commented on my Facebook page yesterday*, "At least they're reading something." That's why I won't slag off little Justin and his 16-year-old take on life, literary-style.

First of all, the kid is huge. He commands legions of police to keep the peace in airports and hotels around the world. He's got 4m Twitter followers. He's probably lived more in his 16 years than many of us in our 30s.

Second, it's these huge books that keep publishers flush. That means that peons like me can maybe get a shot at publication. Publishers would go bust if they only sold literary fiction, or poetry, or books of short stories. It's great when one of these is a runaway hit, but a book like Bieber's is a sure thing.

My life at 16, in 140 characters: Writing, acting, studying, singing, driving, nerding, wishing I were elsewhere, dreaming, making mix tapes, wondering where life will go.


*Yes, Mom's on Facebook, more often than I am.


Erik R. said...

"...wondering where life will go."

I bet Scottish Highlands never came up. I wonder how many expats expected to be at age 16. I sure didn't.

KP said...

So what would your Twitterized memoir say?

Nope, Highlands were never in it. Paris and Venice were my two obsessions back then. And New York City.

Erik R. said...

At 16, I was at a science & math intensive boarding school. That year was way harder, academically, than any year before or since. I'd have to go with:

"Studying and more studying. Got in trouble for stringing cable to next room to play Warcraft. New roommate much better. Time for class!"