Episode #21: Young Adult, or Literary Fiction? Who Decides?


In this episode of the Oral History Podcast, we ask why some books about teenagers are labeled “YA” but others are marketed as “literary fiction.” Tell us what you think on our Facebook page or via email (feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com).

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Our current reads


Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser

The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan

Letters to a Young Writer by Colum McCann


The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Ford

Robert Lowell: Setting the River on Fire by Kay Redfield Jamison

here, have a picture of Sherlock & Molly kissing; life’s short


– subscribe to this episode’s companion piece on TinyLetter here

– purchase podcast t-shirts here (100% of proceeds go to Scarleteen)

– visit us on Facebook here

Books & References 

Big Girl Small by Rachel DeWoskin

Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican

The V-Word: True Stories of First-Time Sex by Amber J. Keyser, editor

YALSA’s Alex Award

The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak

The Girls by Emma Cline

I Crawl Through It by A.S. King

The Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly Backes

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Freefall by Mindi Scott

Love Me Back by Merritt Tierce

Catcher in The Rye by J.D. Salinger

Girls On Fire by Robin Wasserman

One of the Boys by Daniel Magariel

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

Dare Me & The Fever by Megan Abbott

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Other Broken Things by Christa Desir

Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

“Wow, that’s a lotta books, ladies! Good job!” – Idris Elba, probably

Want more? Subscribe to our accompanying TinyLetter for further discussion on this episode!

About This Podcast

Carrie Mesrobian and Christa Desir are two good friends who happen to be YA authors interested in discussing sex. The idea for The Oral History Podcast came out of their daily dog-walking conversations when they realized that others might be as interested in this topic as they were. Each podcast focuses on a topic of sexuality in the lives of teens. Previous podcasts have included discussions about masturbation, first kisses, cheating, illicit relationships, oral sex, and “girl talk” to name a few. Frank, engaging, and filthy, these two podcasters will leave you laughing, blushing, or ready to start writing sex scenes in your novel in an authentic and excellent way.

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