Lullabies for Little Criminals Sucks

I don't get it. Lullabies has won or been nominated for a lot of awards. A lot. Here's the list:

 

  • Winner of Canada Reads 2007
  • Shortlisted for Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award 2007
  • Shortlisted for the Amazon.ca/ Books in Canada First Novel Award 2007
  • Shortlisted for Governor General's Award 2007
  • Winner of the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Best Novel 2007
  • Shortlisted for the Grand Prix du Livre de Montreal 2007
  • Longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2008
  • Shortlisted for the Orange Prize 2008

 

But you know what? It sucks. Sucks! I am so damned tired of reading novels and short stories that involve victimized, passive female protagonists. Ladies? We have the vote. We have birth control. We can leave our abusive partners/parents and don't have to get pregnant or turn tricks to do so. What happened to feminism? What happened to roaring? I fear we're just going to lose our right to choose with a meek shrug and whimper. Hillary Clinton loses out to Obama and everyone says great! Phew! We almost had a woman leading a country. That was fucking close. We can't let a vagina anywhere near the oval office, unless she's down on her knees, blowing the president where she belongs!

Ok, what's all that have to do with the novel? Simple. The more we embrace these meek-ass characters, the further backwards we go. Stop being afraid. There is more to life than shopping, crying, dollies and marriage. Women have won more Oscars for playing prostitutes or rape victims than any other characters. And yet there are three times as many women graduating from Canadian law schools than men.

Here's an excerpt: "As I walked in (to my bedroom), I saw a horrible sight on my floor. While I'd been out, Jules (my father) had knocked over all my things. He had torn up the homework I had left lying on the bed. I would never be able to finish my project on time now. But then I saw something even worse. There, lying on the floor, was my rag doll, its arms and legs ripped off. I dropped to my knees and picked her pieces up. I'd never get another one. Jules never thought to buy me pretty things like that. That doll had been like a miracle to me. It had reminded me that I'd been loved by my mother. Now I was nothing, a real nobody."

Ok, I counted the word "that" three times near the end. This is so simply and dumbly written, my sixteen-year-old students could write better than this. It's a YA novel with swearing, drugs and hookers. Poor, poor Baby (oh, yeah, that's her fucking name. Could she be even more of a victim?) Grow up! What I don't get is it's written in first person, when Baby's older, so why does it sound like it's still written by a twelve-year-old? Seriously. Try to read this shit out loud. You can't. The words get stuck in your mouth 'cause the word order is so awkward. "A real nobody." Wah! Why does this shit sell? So middle-aged housewives can feel bad reading about the street kid in their plush family rooms? I bet those same women would call the cops if Baby ever took a walk in their gated communities.