We Are the Stories We Tell: Patrick Ness’ [More Than This]

(Major spoilers ahead. You've been warned!) "People see stories everywhere," Regine says. "That's what my father used to say. We take random events and we put them together in a pattern so we can comfort ourselves with a story, no matter how much it obviously isn't true." She glances back at Seth. "We have to … Continue reading We Are the Stories We Tell: Patrick Ness’ [More Than This]

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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]

The Lying Game: Edward Albee’s [Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?]

Originally performed in 1962, Edward Albee's dark comedy, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, centers on the collapsing marriage of George, a middle-aged history professor who works at a university in New England, and Martha, the daughter of the university's president who is six years older than George. The play opens with George and Martha arriving home at 2:00 … Continue reading The Lying Game: Edward Albee’s [Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?]

Queer Resistance in Rita Mae Brown’s [Rubyfruit Jungle]

If you want to get a sense of the views and attitudes that permeated lesbian life soon after the gay rights movement, this is the book you are searching for. Originally published in 1973, Rita Mae Brown's Rubyfruit Jungle is approached by many readers as the quintessential lesbian coming-out and coming-of-age novel. It centers on the growth … Continue reading Queer Resistance in Rita Mae Brown’s [Rubyfruit Jungle]

The Role of Gender and Literature in Alison Bechdel’s [Fun Home]

Originally published in 2006, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic is a graphic memoir that led Alison Bechdel to commercial and critical success. Reminiscent of Art Spiegelman's Maus, Fun Home explores the relationship between Alison and her closeted father, Bruce Bechdel, to shed light on themes such as gender, the coming-out process, and the complicated dynamics of family life. The exploration … Continue reading The Role of Gender and Literature in Alison Bechdel’s [Fun Home]

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]