Biography (Magill's Survey of American Literature, Revised Edition)
Judy Sussman was born February 12, 1938, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to Jewish parents: Esther, a quiet, book-savvy housewife, and Rudolph, a dentist. Much of Blume’s fiction finds itself rooted in this family, particularly her father, who provided the model for many of his fictional counterparts in his strong joviality and support for his daughter’s imagination.
As in many of her novels, though, physical distance between father and daughter proved to be problematic. In one instance, the family was forced to move to Florida for two years out of health concerns for Judy’s older brother, David; her father remained in New Jersey, working to support them. Both siblings would experience severe illness in their youth. Her father’s death in 1959 at the relatively young age of fifty-four, coupled with the death of two of his brothers in their forties, would haunt Blume’s prose with a preoccupation with parental separation, mortality, and isolation.
Blume attended New York University (NYU), after mononucleosis arrested her start at Boston University during her first year there. She graduated with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education in 1960, which she never utilized, as she wished to stay at home with her children. In fact, she attributed much of her impetus to be an educator to her mother’s pragmatism that she have a career in the event that marriage did not work out for her. Esther Sussman’s anxieties were quite prescient.
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Biography (Magill's Survey of American Literature, Revised Edition)
The plurality and complexity of a child’s life lies at the heart of most of Blume’s works. Her greatest contribution to children’s literature may come in her uncanny ability to capture the emotions of a child in print, without deference to adult perspective. Blume’s young protagonists are as pockmarked and precocious as their real-world equivalents. Therein lies the charm, wit, and humor of her prose. Her unwavering admiration of the struggles of childhood parallels her consistent refusal to diminish, simplify, or condescend to youthful anxieties, joys, and imagination.
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Biography (Censorship (Ready Reference series))
Blume has written frank, cutting-edge books that are loved by many young readers but often loathed by parents, school officials, and watchdog groups. Her detractors have objected to children reading about such topics as the development of sexual awareness during the teen years, menstruation, masturbation, and premarital sex. According to People for the American Way, Blume authored more of the books for young people that were banned between 1982 and 1992 than any other writer.
One of Blume’s early efforts, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret (1970) acted as a magnet, attracting young readers and censors alike in 1970. Written in the form of nighttime prayers, the story is about a girl named Margaret, who agonizes over being a new girl in town, her parent’s mixed- faith religions, her small breasts, her late menstruation, and other matters. Told with great restraint and humor, the book immediately stirred controversy, and never appeared on many school library shelves. The next year, Then Again, Maybe I Won’t (1971) met with even stronger opposition, because it dealt with the problems of a teenager named Tony, who, like Margaret, worries about his developing body. Censors charged that Blume’s book promoted voyeurism, shoplifting, and dealt with unsavory subjects such as alcohol abuse, masturbation, and the fear of unexpected erections.
Candid depictions of female masturbation in...
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Biography (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
Judy Blume (blewm), born Judy Sussman, ranks among the most popular and acclaimed writers of juvenile and young adult fiction. With the novels Wifey and Summer Sisters, she has also made significant inroads into the adult fiction market. Her works have sold in excess of forty million copies worldwide, indicating an appeal and influence that expands far beyond the parameters of “children’s” writing. However, much of Blume’s notoriety has been fueled by the controversy her books often generate. Relative to her contemporaries, Blume is often outspokenly frank, particularly about the issues and dilemmas surrounding adolescent sexual identity. Likewise, her books are often unapologetic and free of the judgmental and moralistic trappings that typically characterize juvenile fiction—something her fans laud as courageous and innovative but her detractors condemn as amoral. Whereas many children’s writers focus on the consequences of sexual behavior among young people, Blume’s fiction tends instead to focus directly on the experience of such behavior. What may be gained or lost along an adolescent’s path to physical or sexual maturity is usually left to the reader.
Blume grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and Miami Beach, Florida, the daughter of middle-class parents who instilled a love of books in her at an early age. After graduating from New York University, Blume married and gave birth to two children for whom she began...
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As a child, Judy Blume wished to become something exciting when she grew up, such as an actress or artist. With her amazing ability to remember the details of her childhood and to get inside the characters that she creates, it is no wonder that she became a writer, one of the most popular of her generation.
She was born on February 12, 1938 and raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Her mother, Esther Rosenfeld Sussman, was a traditional homemaker with a passion for reading books. Her father, Rudolph Sussman, was a dentist. He was also "a bit of a philosopher" who enjoyed sharing ideas, fantasies, and game- playing with Judy and her older brother, David, and taught her to think for herself.
When she was in the third grade, she spent the school year in Miami Beach, Florida, with her mother and David, who was ill and needed to recuperate in a warm climate. This situation lasted for two years, during which time Dr. Sussman visited them monthly for holidays and school breaks. After returning to Elizabeth, where she graduated from high school, she attended New York University to study elementary education, planning to become a second grade teacher.
During her sophomore year, she fell in love with a young attorney, John M. Blume, whom she married in 1959. She received her B. A. in Education from New York University in 1960, and a year later gave birth to a daughter, Randy Lee. A son, Lawrence Andrew, was born in 1963. For several years, Blume...
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Judy Blume was born on February 12, 1938, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where she spent her entire childhood. As a shy youth, she spent hours making up stories. However, it was not until she was in her twenties that she began to write her stories down. Her first book was actually a picture book for young children, and since that was published, she has spanned the fiction landscape, writing young children's books, young adult's books, as well as titles for adult audiences. Blume actually characterizes Summer Sisters as a work of adult fiction, but because of her name and its resonance as a novelist for young adults, many younger readers are drawn to her more adult narratives.
After graduating from New York University in 1961, Blume lived and wrote in a wide variety of places, and today, she lives with her husband in various homes along the eastern coast of the United States. She has three children and one grandchild.
Some of her best known titles include Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret; Superfudge; Blubber; Deenie; and Forever. More than 70 million copies of her books have been sold, translated into over twenty languages. Summer Sisters held the number one spot on the New York Times bestseller list.
One of Blume's biggest rewards of her career as a writer comes from receiving letters from young and adult readers alike, who over the years have expressed personal connections to...
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Judy Blume was born February 12, 1938, in Elizabeth, New Jersey. She attended New York University and was married before she earned her degree in education in 1961. By 1970, Blume had two children and had published two somewhat traditional children's books, but neither of them exhibited what would become the author's trademark: frank subject matter aimed at an adolescent audience. Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret (1970) was the first book to draw notice, not all of it positive. In the 1970s, placing frank discussion about first bras, menstruation, and breasts in a novel was not considered proper. But of course, Blume's young readers loved it. Libraries, however, had trouble with it. According to Karen Holt, in an article written for Publishers Weekly, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret "is one of five books by Blume that appear on the American Library Association's list of most frequently challenged books of the 1990s." The other four, according to Holt, are Blume's Deenie (1973), Blubber (1974), Forever … (1975), and Tiger Eyes (1981).
Between 1970 and the early 1990s, Blume wrote eighteen more young adult novels and three novels for adult readers. One of her most loveable characters, Farley Drexel Hatcher (called "Fudge") was first brought to life in Blume's...
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Born on February 12, 1938, Judy Blume has described herself as "a child of suburbia." Like Margaret Simon in Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, Blume grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, a suburb of New York. With the exception of novels such as Tiger Eyes and Smart Women, most of Blume's novels have suburban East Coast settings. Blume's parents emotionally were similar to Margaret Simon's—Esther Sussman was cool and controlled, while her dentist father, Rudolph Sussman, was warm and friendly. Like many children raised in her circumstances, Blume's life was filled with summer camp, trips to Florida, a secret club similar to Margaret's, and a teasing older brother who may have served as a model for Evan Wheeler or Moose Freed.
Raised in an era that expected women to be wives and mothers, Blume did not have sharp career goals, although she did complete a degree from New York University in elementary education in 1960 with vague plans about teaching second grade. These plans were interrupted by her marriage to an attorney, John Blume, and the birth of her daughter, Randy, in 1961, and her son, Larry, in 1963. In the late 1960s, when Larry went to nursery school, Blume became aware that she needed something else in her life, "something just for me." After a few business projects, Blume, always a reader, turned to writing. With the encouragement that she received from a course she twice took in writing for children from New York University, she wrote a book for children, The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo (1969), followed by a novel for young adults and adolescents, Iggie's House, which she worked on with editorial help from Bradbury Press. In Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret Blume found her style and form, almost her own genre, in the adolescent novel. This style features a first-person narrative, the development of characters and themes through action rather than symbol, and open-ended, double-plotted actions, with one involving sexual or personal maturation and the other involving a specific theme, such as religious toleration in Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. Even Blume's adult novels, which include the successful Smart Women (1984), follow this format.
Blume has been the most popular writer of adolescent fiction, selling millions of books largely because she is attuned to children's and adolescent thinking. Blume says she has total recall of...
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