Studies in the Novel

An international literary quarterly that publishes literary criticism and scholarship on the novel. Includes essays on well-known and lesser-known novelists of all periods and countries. Contents include essays, reviews of recent books on novels and novel

Articles from Vol. 42, No. 1-2, Spring-Summer

From Soldiers to Children: Undoing the Rite of Passage in Ishmael Beah's A Long Way Gone and Bernard Ashley's Little Soldier
Introduction: The Gap between Ordered Worlds That wars around the world not only affect but involve children as active participants is a well-known and at times a conveniently ignored fact. It is true that in recent years there has been growing...
Has Tomomi Lost Her Mind? Psychosis, Femininity, and the Universal Appeal of Kazumi Yumoto's the Spring Tone
This essay offers a psychoanalytic reading of Kazumi Yumoto's novel The Spring Tone in order to explore the issue of femininity in young adult literature. Even though Yumoto's story is not a product of a western consciousness (she is a Japanese author),...
Joseph Bruchac's "Dark" Novels: Confronting the Terror of Adolescence
Adolescence is a strange time: adolescents' bodies are changing in ways over which they often have no control; their hormones often direct their actions without their understanding why; the relatively safe, comfortable world they have known thus far...
Kicking It Up beyond the Casual: Fresh Perspectives in Young Adult Literature
Adolescent. Teenager. Young adult. These terms for this awkward phase of life shiver with connotations. And why not? As adults, we raise them, teach them, live among them, and most definitely write for and about them. They perplex us. Indeed, young...
Nancy Drew's Body: The Case of the Autonomous Female Sleuth
When thinking about female gynecological exams, Vagina Monologues author Eve Ensler asks, "[w]hy the flashlight all up in there like Nancy Drew working against gravity?" (23). While many may not make an immediate connection with the female body and...
Power and Polyphony in Young Adult Literature: Rob Thomas's Slave Day
Although first-person and singularly focalized third-person narration remain the most common narrative forms in young adult literature, novels featuring multivoiced narration have long played an important role in the genre. These novels--in which narrative...
"Quick, Ethel, Your Rifle!": Portable Britishness and Flexible Gender Roles in G.A. Henty's Books for Boys
Out on the Pampas. With Clive In India. With Roberts to Pretoria. Maori and Settler. By Pike and by Dyke. These titles are no longer familiar, though their author, George Alfred Henty, dominated children's literature between 1871 and 1906. The wildly...
Solving the Crime of Modernity: Nancy Drew in 1930
Edward Stratemeyer's Nancy Drew, with her titian blonde hair and sporty roadster, is often seen by critics as the apotheosis of modernity--she is quick-thinking, partial to new gadgets, ever on the move. In fact, modernity was perceived as a particular...
Teenage Wasteland: Defeating the Machine in Daniel Pinkwater's Chicago
"The question was plainly stated. Is there any chance that you possess a salvageable brain, or have your parents just parked you here because they know or sense that you can't get kicked out of Wheaton? In other words, is there a glimmer of light upstairs,...
The Ideology of the Wissenvine: Critique and Closure in Zilpha Keatley Snyder's Green-Sky Trilogy
Zilpha Keatley Snyder's Green-sky Trilogy depicts a richly textured, imaginative world where humans live in massive "Grund" trees, gliding from limb to limb in their silken "shubas." The people of Green-sky, who call themselves "Kindar," live in a...
"The Language of Pictures": Visual Representation and Spectatorship in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials
Phillip Pullman foregrounds the act of storytelling in His Dark Materials, and many critics have explored the thematic and literary implications of its function in his novels. (1) Most of these studies discuss oral or written storytelling, but I will...
Twilight Is Not Good for Maidens: Gender, Sexuality, and the Family in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Series
"Dear, you should not stay so late, Twilight is not good for maidens; Should not loiter in the glen In the haunts of goblin men." --Christina Rossetti, "Goblin Market" Although I regularly teach children's and young adult literature...

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