Judy Blume Biography

Biography (Masterpieces of American Literature)

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.

Judy Sussman became Judy Blume when she married John Blume, a lawyer, in 1959, during her junior year in college. Blume has stated that their sixteen-year marriage constituted a period during which she was expected to fulfill the role of a domestic homemaker: raising children, Randy Lee in 1961 and Larry in 1963, and attending to...

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Judy Blume Biography (Masterpieces of American Literature)

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.

Judy Blume Biography (Critical Guide to Censorship and Literature)

Author Profile

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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Judy Blume Biography (Great Authors of World Literature, Critical 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 writing stories as amusement. Throughout the 1960’s, however, her skills and interest in writing developed. Her first children’s book,...

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Judy Blume Biography (Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

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...

(The entire section is 1090 words.)

Judy Blume Biography (Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

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...

(The entire section is 444 words.)

Judy Blume Biography (Novels for Students)

Judy Blume Published by Gale Cengage

Judy Blume was born February 12, 1938, in Elizabeth, New Jersey. She attended New York University and was married before she earned her...

(The entire section is 292 words.)

Judy Blume Biography (eNotes Publishing)

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,...

(The entire section is 582 words.)