“You told me things that nobody around me would tell,” Boston musician Amanda Palmer sings in her new song “Judy Blume” on the occasion of the author’s 80th birthday.

In an essay titled “Why Judy Blume Matters” published on the Huffington Post today, Palmer explains:

“Only in hindsight could I trace back the doors and windows that Blume propped open and permanently unshuttered in the fragile house of my mind that I was constructing. She was the silent architect of my pre-adolescent belief system, breaking the ground and quietly influencing the unshakeable infrastructure onto which all of those impressively cool Cure and Nick Cave posters would later be thumbtacked and Scotch-taped.

“In the punk/goth songs I mostly listened to as a teen, men sang about all manner of topics ― love lost, suicidal thoughts, anarchy, faithless women. But in Blume’s books, which predated all of that, masturbation existed and wasn’t naughty or demonized. Periods and wet dreams and tampons and boobs were funny and messy and embarrassing and, crucially, totally normal. She told it like it was.”

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Categories: Music