Great article, Shaunta! I didn’t know about the Dessen scandal with the graduate student — and the fact about us becoming gods when we create is very compelling.

The negative feedback from Nelson is not a bad thing. In this day and age, while it’s not always good for your mental health to give weight to every piece of criticism, negative feedback, and responding to negative feedback, is good for our exposure — especially when it’s at a level as high as Dessen. It’s a college student not liking her book, not something she should have reacted as fiercely to. I wrote about it here:

I read through the situation in depth and the Twitter war here demonstrates a sort of power imbalance. Once you’ve “made it” and have the power of someone like Dessen or Elizabeth Gilbert, this was clearly a case of harassment, with Dessen using the weight of her whole following to pile on the hate on Nelson.

I agree with this one commenter:

“The problem with this is the power difference. Bestselling, millionaire authors with large fan bases are attacking an unknown college student and pretending the criticism actually hurts them in any real way. It doesn’t.”

Believer, Baltimore City special ed teacher, and 2:40 marathon runner. Diehard fan of “The Wire.” Email: Support me: