Ann Arbor, MI - Gertrude Chandler Warner, the much-loved author of the classic children’s book series “The Boxcar Children,” is the subject of heated debate these days as a new biography about the author hit bookstores this week. Among other things, the book claims Warner was a committed bi-sexual, who believed that no one, including children, should be held captive by the confines and expectations of society.
The book, titled “Exposing Warner’s Boxcar,” makes many surprising claims. The most startling, however, is that Warner actually despised children, couldn’t stand their “incessant blathering,” and considered them a “blight on the culture.” The biography suggest that this explains why the Boxcar Children were always experiencing trouble in each book.
“It wasn’t because it was good for the plot,” Warner wrote in a 1954 letter to her lesbian lover. “It was because I wanted to make life difficult for the little rats. Seeing them struggle with adversity and squirm under pressure and unpleasantness is what made me the happiest. That’s why I started writing the series in the first place. Oh, I hate them so.”
The book has come under intense scrutiny, as fans of the series and current children’s authors rush to save the reputation of both Warner and her timeless series. The biography has particularly raised the ire of librarians.
“This is just absurd,” Maude Garrity, Head Librarian at the Poughkeepsie Public Library, said yesterday. “The idea that Gertrude Chandler Warner would turn out to be a dyke is simply nonsense. Our library will not be carrying this biography.”
The biography’s author, who wrote the book anonymously, has gone into hiding and has yet to respond to the mounting criticism. The bad press, however, has not hurt the bottom line, as the book hit Amazon.com’s bestseller list early this morning.