Dan Wakefield

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 149

Norma Klein has a nice sense of what teen-agers today might be feeling about themselves, each other, their bodies and minds, their friends and parents…. ["It's O.K. If You Don't Love Me"] is low-key, credible, frank and gutsy….

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[The] author manages to write in an open, intelligent manner about such potentially ticklish subjects as contraception, pregnancy, racial, religious and regional prejudice [and] mother-daughter jealousy…. Despite all this, you never have the sense that you are getting an informational handbook dressed up as a novel.

Best of all, Norma Klein avoids the darkest and most dangerous pitfall of an adult writing a dramatic story about adolescents: She is never condescending. One ends the book liking not only the teen-age characters but also the author who had the empathy, understanding and talent to create them.

Dan Wakefield, "Firepersons and Other Characters," in The New York Times Book Review, May 1, 1977, p. 10.∗

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Carol Schene


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