Escaping the Labyrinth: Suffering in YA Fiction and the Case of John Green’s [Looking for Alaska]

  How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering? --A.Y. - John Green, Looking for Alaska (p. 158) What is the role of suffering in young adult literature? I've been obsessed with answering this question since one of my dissertation committee members asked me it a couple of weeks ago. My desire to answer this … Continue reading Escaping the Labyrinth: Suffering in YA Fiction and the Case of John Green’s [Looking for Alaska]

An Analysis of Pastiche in Art Spiegelman’s [Maus I: My Father Bleeds History]

Art Spiegelman's Maus revolutionized the perception of comics not only in academia, but also in popular culture. Not only is it the first graphic novel to ever win a Pulitzer prize, but its presence has been ubiquitous in academia--appealing to scholars interested in areas such as the image-text relationship, animal studies, postmodernism, history, memoir, Holocaust studies, and … Continue reading An Analysis of Pastiche in Art Spiegelman’s [Maus I: My Father Bleeds History]

Tradition, Change, and Kinship in Sherman Alexie’s [The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian]

Few young adult novels manage to tackle deep and complex issues with as much heart and nuance as Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (henceforth PTI). Initially, PTI can be approached as an autobiographical coming-of-age (graphic) novel that centers on the growth and development of Arnold Spirit Jr., a fourteen-year-old cartoonist and student … Continue reading Tradition, Change, and Kinship in Sherman Alexie’s [The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian]

Curiouser: On the Queerness of Children

What is a queer child? What happens when a child moves away from accepted conventions of sexuality and adult heteronormativity? What are the repercussions of protecting children from the inevitable discovery of sexuality? How do storytellers control, regulate, or contest the notion of childhood sexuality? Curiouser: On the Queerness of Children is a collection of thought-provoking essays … Continue reading Curiouser: On the Queerness of Children

Male Prostitution and [The Hunger Games] – The Case of Finnick Odair

Perhaps one of the most shocking moments of Suzanne Collins's Mockingjay is when the reader finds out that Finnick Odair--a past victor of the Hunger Games tournament who is attractive and always surrounded by suitors--reveals that he was sold and used as a sex slave for wealthy patrons residing in the Capitol. This confession is broadcasted across the dystopic … Continue reading Male Prostitution and [The Hunger Games] – The Case of Finnick Odair

The “Privacy” of the Closet: From Jodie Foster to Manti Te’o

With Jodie Foster's delivery of her so-called heartwarming yet "rambling" speech, the notions of honesty, disclosure, and privacy became the hot topics of the week. Rumors of Jodie Foster's homosexuality had been looming in the media for years, and prominent magazines such as OUT even went as far as to posit that Foster inhabited a glass closet--meaning … Continue reading The “Privacy” of the Closet: From Jodie Foster to Manti Te’o

Dethroning “La Comay”: A Rhetorical View of the Issue

When a country considers a puppet a legitimate source of news and information, you know that there is something questionable and downright baffling going on. Above is the picture of the infamous puppet known as La Comay (puppeteered by actor Kobo Santarrosa), the hostess of the #1 showed aired in WAPA television titled SuperXclusivo, which is seen … Continue reading Dethroning “La Comay”: A Rhetorical View of the Issue