Author Judy Blume’s regret about something that happened during her upbringing came up recently during an interview at BookCon. Blume has written dozens of books over the years that dealt with difficult school and teen situations, but what she is sharing now is not something she’s tackled in her writing before. What is Blume’s regret?
As KNOE shares, Judy Blume’s regret is related to the glee club at her New Jersey high school. She revealed during her BookCon interview that at the time she was at the school, blacks were not allowed to participate in the club.
Judy explained that she wrote about the glee club in her new book, but she did not include discussion about the exclusivity of the club. According to Yahoo! News, the text about the glee club was ultimately removed because it didn’t mesh with the narrative of the novel.
Blume’s new book is an adult novel titled In the Unlikely Event. It was inspired by plane crashes that happened during 1951 and 1952 near Judy’s native town of Elizabeth, New Jersey. As the Boston Globe shares, the book is Blume’s first adult novel in 17 years. From the sounds of things, this one may well become a crossover hit with both adults and young adults.
In the Unlikely Event focuses on 15-year-old Miri Ammerman. Miri’s family and friends are central to the book, as is the community that is left reeling from the plane crashes that killed both passengers and bystanders. The book also, in traditional Judy Blume style, addresses many teen-related topics including virginity and youth coming of age.
Blume says she has “felt guilty for all these years” for not speaking out about the issue. In fact, she reveals that at her 40th anniversary class reunion, she apologized to the classmates affected. The author, according to Vulture, shared the background surrounding this glee club incident in great detail during the interview.
Judy says that she remembers seeing the list of glee club applicants that the teacher had back at the time. Blume shares that there were notations indicating which students were black on the list next to their names, ultimately excluding them from the club.
It seems that Blume had tears in her eyes during the interview, as she admits she felt guilty and wonders why nobody said anything. After she stood up at her reunion and talked about the incident, Judy says that a couple of the women affected said that they never knew she had known. Blume describes it as a cathartic moment.
While the story related to Judy Blume’s regret from her glee club days may not have made it into the book, there are many other elements that are seemingly traditional of Blume’s style. The book will be released on June 2, and many have a hunch it’ll immediately become a best-selling novel.
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