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]

Queer Time in Edmund White’s [A Boy’s Own Story]

Edmund White's A Boy's Own Story is a coming-of-age novel centered on the sexual awakening of a queer teenage boy in the Midwest during the 1950s. The novel discusses topics such as the corruption of innocence, the pressures of masculinity in the lives of young boys, the emergence of childhood sexuality, and the exploration of humanity through … Continue reading Queer Time in Edmund White’s [A Boy’s Own Story]

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?]

What is Gay Literature? The Case of Colm Tóibín’s [The Blackwater Lightship]

Jeanette Winterson, author of the celebrated novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, takes a rather defensive stance when asked if she considers Oranges to be a lesbian novel. She explicitly addresses this question in her personal website by answering it in the negative: No. [Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is] for anyone interested in what happens … Continue reading What is Gay Literature? The Case of Colm Tóibín’s [The Blackwater Lightship]

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]

Space and Masculinity in James Baldwin’s [Giovanni’s Room]

Originally published in 1954, James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room was not only one of the first novels to tackle issues of same-sex desire with heart and honesty, but it was also a text that prompted frank discussions of homosexuality within the public sphere. The narrative focuses on the experiences of David, an American who moves to Paris in … Continue reading Space and Masculinity in James Baldwin’s [Giovanni’s Room]