Her Story: Ladies In Literature with Tiffany D. Jackson

Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a special, month-long series on Pop! Goes The Reader in which we celebrate the literary female role models whose stories have inspired and empowered us since time immemorial. From Harriet M. Welsch to Anne Shirley, Becky Bloomwood to Hermione Granger, Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a series created for women, by women as thirty-three authors answer the question: “Who’s your heroine?” You can find a complete list of the participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!

About Tiffany D. Jackson

Tiffany D. Jackson is a TV professional by day, novelist by night, awkward black girl 24/7. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Film from Howard University and her Master of Arts in Media Studies from The New School University. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves with her adorable chihuahua Oscar, most likely multitasking.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagramGoodreads

There weren’t many YA novels that spoke to me as a young girl. I tended to lean towards adult novels, books that took me out of my element and into a world of survival, a familiar set of circumstances. But I never opened a book and said, “Ah, there I am! There’s Tiffany, in all her jumbled, awkward glory.”

Until I read Carrie by Stephen King.

Now before you think I’m completely deranged, hear me out. She’s not a cookie cutter heroine, but there are fundamental humanistic similarities that often go unnoticed.

At a basic molecular level, we all want to belong and be loved for who we truly are. We all want to be “normal.” Hence, what people tend to miss about the story of Carrie, a bullied high school girl who used her new found telekinetic powers to seek revenge on her tormentors, is her pain. It was heartbreaking to witness her deep longing to be just a normal as I also struggled to fit inside basic shape molds, just for the peace of inclusion.

I came from a mix household with old-school philosophies and traditions. I was an extremely quiet child to the point of being considered a mute. My clothes weren’t cool, my music taste wasn’t cool…I, in every way, wasn’t cool. I don’t like using the words like “different” or “unusual” to describe myself. Unicorn would be my title of choice. But growing up in a cutthroat urban environment like Brooklyn, weird was by far the nicest term kids used to call me. Even when we moved upstate and I attended a predominately white high school, I was still an outcast among outcast. So like Carrie, I too, had been ridiculed, teased, taunted, and grossly underestimated for the majority of my life.

Nevertheless, once Carrie realized what she possessed, her entire thought process switched. She honed in her super power and found the strength to face her adversaries. Carrie bravely pushed herself outside her comfort zone, going so far as attending prom, despite the likelihood of being laughed at. And even there, drenched in pig’s blood, she was unstoppable.

Key lesson here: Once that moment of self-realization hits, once you realize you were born to be MORE than normal, everything changes.

Carrie was always one of my favorite horror movies and at my Grandmother’s suggestion during the summer before my junior year, I picked up King’s first novel, then something clicked. I became hyper focused on my own gift, the gift of story telling, and vowed to prove everyone wrong about the girl they assumed I was, one way or another.

So as warped as it might be, cheering for a girl murdering her fellow classmates, to me Carrie will always serve as one of the best metaphors for embracing your power. Cheers to breaking glass ceilings, blowing people’s minds and burning all previous misconceptions down to the ground. Success is and will continue to be the best revenge.

Title Allegedly
Author Tiffany D. Jackson
Pages 387 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre & Keywords Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Mystery
Published January 24th, 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

Orange Is The New Black meets Walter Dean Myer’s Monster in this gritty, twisty, and haunting debut by Tiffany D. Jackson about a girl convicted of murder seeking the truth while surviving life in a group home.

Mary B. Addison killed a baby.

Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: a white baby had died while under the care of a churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it?

There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted — and their unborn child — to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary’s fate now lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But does anyone know the real Mary?

2 responses to “Her Story: Ladies In Literature with Tiffany D. Jackson”

  1. Brooke Banks says:

    OMG, I’m not alone! I always cheered Carrie on. Those people were always so horrible and as a girl picked on for being fat and ugly and a book nerd, I just couldn’t resist the visceral reaction to Carrie’s realization and rising above those keeping her down.

    I started reading Stephen King when I was like 10 and I started my period. My love for Carrie is deep, obvs.

    I have a co-worker that keeps a figure of Carrie on her desk. Said co-worker is awesome <3

  2. Melanie says:

    I never read or watched Carrie (I am a baby when it comes to horror) but I know the story. I was also bullied growing up and I had a deep, nasty moment of cheering when Carrie got her revenge. We’re only human.

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