Writing dark tales for teens

Patrick Ness inverts the story of Moby Dick by telling it from the point of view of a whale in And The Ocean Was Our Sky (above).
Patrick Ness inverts the story of Moby Dick by telling it from the point of view of a whale in And The Ocean Was Our Sky (above).PHOTO: JAY WILLIAMS

Writer Patrick Ness says the teenage years are the time when one explores taboos and the things one fears

In the books of young adult author Patrick Ness, there is often an inversion, a flipping of the world as people know it on its head.

It is not the jealous queen who murders the beautiful young woman, for instance. In The Rest Of Us Just Live Here (2015), a story about the apocalypse, the narrator is the kid just trying to get through high school while some other Chosen Ones save the world in the background.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2018, with the headline 'Writing dark tales for teens'. Print Edition | Subscribe