Judy Blume

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Judy Blume

Judy Blume at a book signing (2009)
BornJudith Sussman
(1938-02-12) February 12, 1938 (age 74)
Elizabeth, New Jersey, U.S.
OccupationAuthor
GenresChildren's books, Young adult, novels
Notable work(s)Tiger Eyes
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.
Spouse(s)John Blume
(1959–1976)
Thomas A. Kitchens
(1976–1978)
George Cooper
(1987–present)

[judyblume.com judyblume.com]
 
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Judy Blume

Judy Blume at a book signing (2009)
BornJudith Sussman
(1938-02-12) February 12, 1938 (age 74)
Elizabeth, New Jersey, U.S.
OccupationAuthor
GenresChildren's books, Young adult, novels
Notable work(s)Tiger Eyes
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.
Spouse(s)John Blume
(1959–1976)
Thomas A. Kitchens
(1976–1978)
George Cooper
(1987–present)

[judyblume.com judyblume.com]

Judy Blume (born Judith Sussman; February 12, 1938) is an American author.[1] She has written many novels for children and young adults which have exceeded sales of 80 million and been translated into 31 languages.[2] Blume's novels for teenagers were among the first to tackle racism (Iggie's House), menstruation (Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.), divorce (It's Not the End of the World, Just As Long As We're Together), bullying (Blubber), masturbation (Deenie, Then Again, Maybe I Won't, and originally Tiger Eyes) and teen sex (Forever). Blume has used these subjects to generate discussion, but they have also been the source of controversy regarding age-appropriate reading.[3]

The film version of Blume’s 1981 novel Tiger Eyes, directed by the author's son Lawrence Blume, stars Willa Holland as Davey and Amy Jo Johnson as Gwen Wexler. The film has a projected release date of 2012.[4]

Contents

Early life

Blume was born and raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to Esther (née Rosenfeld), a homemaker, and Ralph Sussman, a dentist.[5] She has a brother, David, who is five years older. Her family was Jewish.[6] Blume has recalled, "I spent most of my childhood making up stories inside of my head." She graduated from Battin High School in 1956, then enrolled in Boston University. In the first semester, she was diagnosed with mononucleosis and took a brief leave from school[7] before graduating from New York University in 1961 with a bachelor's degree in teaching.[8][9]

Career

A lifelong avid reader, Blume first began writing when her children were attending preschool,[10] and published her first book, The One in the Middle Is the Green Kangaroo, in 1969. The decade that followed proved to be her most prolific, with 13 more books being published, including many of her most well-known titles, such as Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. (1970), Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (1972), Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great (1972), and Blubber (1974).[11]

After publishing novels for young children and teens, Blume tackled another genre—adult reality and death. Her novels Wifey (1978) and Smart Women (1983) shot to the top of The New York Times best-seller list. Wifey has become a bestseller, with over 4 million copies sold to date. Her latest and third adult novel Summer Sisters (1998) was widely praised and has sold more than 3 million copies.[12] It spent 5 months on The New York Times Bestseller list,[13] with the hardcover reaching #3[14] and the paperback spent several weeks at #1.[15][16]

Judy Blume has won more than ninety literary awards. In 2004, she was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.[17] In 1996 the American Library Association selected Blume for its Margaret A. Edwards Award for her contributions to young adult literature.[18] Blume received the Library of Congress Living Legends award in the "Writers and Artists" category in April 2000 for her significant contributions to America's cultural heritage. Several of Blume's books appear on the list of top all-time bestselling children’s books.[citation needed]

Marriages and family

On August 15, 1959, she married John Blume whom she had met while a student at New York University; the wedding was held in the summer of her sophomore year of college. He later worked as a lawyer, while she briefly supported her family as a homemaker before pursuing teaching and writing.[19] The Blumes had two children: Randy Lee, an airline pilot (born 1961), and Lawrence Andrew, a filmmaker (born 1963). The couple separated in 1975 and were legally divorced by 1976.[20] Blume would later describe the marriage as "suffocating", although she maintained her first husband's surname.[21][22]

Shortly after her separation, she met Thomas A. Kitchens, a physicist. The couple married in 1976, and Kitchens moved them to New Mexico for his work. They divorced in 1978. She later spoke up about their split: "It was a disaster, a total disaster. After a couple years, I got out. I cried every day. Anyone who thinks my life is cupcakes is all wrong."[21]

A mutual friend introduced her to George Cooper, a former law professor, now non-fiction writer. Blume and Cooper were married in 1987.[23] Cooper has an only child from a previous marriage, a daughter named Amanda. They currently reside in Key West.[24]

Personal life

Blume announced she was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma in August 2012 after undergoing a routine ultrasound as she was preparing to leave for a five-week trip to Italy. She stated that she has been diagnosed with cervical cancer seventeen years earlier, and had a subsequent hysterectomy.[25]

Bibliography

References

  1. ^ "Judy Blume". Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2009. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2009. Retrieved 19 December 2009.
  2. ^ Judy's Official Bio from official website
  3. ^ "Top Ten Challenged Authors 1990-2004". American Library Association. Archived from the original on 2009-04-18. http://web.archive.org/web/20090418002500/http://ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/bannedbooksweek/bbwlinks/authors19902004.cfm. Retrieved 2009-05-15. 
  4. ^ "Judy Blume's 'Tiger Eyes' movie". Entertainment Weekly. 2012-2-24. http://insidemovies.ew.com/2012/02/24/judy-blume-tiger-eyes-movie/. 
  5. ^ "God bless Judy Blume". Guardian. October 16, 2009. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  6. ^ "JUDY BLUME b. 1938" Jewish Women's Archive. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  7. ^ "Judy's Official Bio". judyblume.com. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  8. ^ "Judy Blume to be Featured on NPR's Studio 360". NYU Steinhardt. April 2010. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  9. ^ "Judy Blume on the Web". Judy Blume Official Website. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  10. ^ How I Became an Author from official website
  11. ^ "The Best-Selling Children's Books of All Time (paperback)". http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0203050.html. Retrieved 2009-05-15. 
  12. ^ Judy Blume: Mating a Peguin IQ from Psychology Today
  13. ^ Early Blumers:In defense of censorship from National Review Online
  14. ^ Best Sellers: August 16, 1998 from The New York Times
  15. ^ Paperback Best Sellers: May 30, 1999 from The New York Times
  16. ^ Paperback Best Sellers: June 12, 1999 from The New York Times
  17. ^ Literary Prize for Judy Blume, Confidante to Teenagers from The New York Times
  18. ^ Blume's award page on the American Library Association website
  19. ^ Tracy, Kathleen (2007). Judy Blume: A Biography. New York City: Greenwood. p. 152. ISBN 13342725. http://books.google.com/books?id=FhM0s7SzecoC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q=John%20Blume&f=false. 
  20. ^ "Judy Blume". NNDB. http://www.nndb.com/people/318/000022252. Retrieved 24 July 2011. 
  21. ^ a b "After Two Divorces, Judy Blume Blossoms as An Unmarried Woman—and Hits the Best-Seller List Again". People. March 19, 1984. http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20087381,00.html. Retrieved December 10, 2010. 
  22. ^ "Smart Women". Judy Blume Official Website. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  23. ^ "Judy Blume: On censorship, life, and staying in the spotlight for 25 years". January Magazine. 2008. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  24. ^ Melissa Whitworth (2008-02-08). "Judy Blume's lessons in love". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/3670951/Judy-Blumes-lessons-in-love.html. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  25. ^ Kindelan, Katie. "Judy Blume Shares Breast Cancer Diagnosis". ABC News. http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/judy-blume-shares-breast-cancer-diagnosis-184521283--abc-news-celebrities.html. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 

Further reading

External links