Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Whose Granny?

I read a lot of cozy mysteries. And I enjoy them very much. One odd thing I have noticed, from time to time, is how writers are confused about time periods. I'm not sure if it is a failure to research the idea or is the writer just using a stereotype?
First thing is the depiction of older people, specifically older women.  Now I am a genuine card carrying (Medicare) older person, in her seventies. I feel uncomfortable when I read about someone's "Granny" in her out of date clothing, gray bun, ignorance of modern life, and truly horrible decor in her home. Now, there may be people like that my age, but I don't think there are many of them. Women in their seventies are stylish, modern women who have been through a lot, let me tell you! We've probably seen it all, from growing up as teenagers in the 1950's, (Elvis was born the same year I was,) after spending a childhood that was influenced by World War II, then the early sixties as  young adults, the days of James Bond, shaken not stirred sophistication and clothing influenced by Jackie Onassis.  Maybe some of our furniture looks like the seventies (an unfortunate era for decor) but that's just because we were raised not to throw anything out by our depression era parents.

Then the time periods! One author I read (not a published author) seemed to think that someone landing at New York from Ireland in 1947 was to be shown as if they were living in the 1800's. I, myself, got off a ship at the West Side Piers in 1947, as an immigrant, but we took a taxi to Greenwich Village.

I would say,get it right if you are going to talk about it at all.It's more interesting to read about real people, not stereotypes.

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