Offering a wide range of critical perspectives, this volume explores the moral, ideological and literary landscapes in fiction and other cultural productions aimed at young adults. Topics examined are adolescence and the natural world, nationhood and identity, the mapping of sexual awakening onto postcolonial awareness, hybridity and trans-racial romance, transgressive sexuality, the sexually abused adolescent body, music as a code for identity formation, representations of adolescent emotion, and what neuroscience research tells us about young adult readers, writers, and young artists. Throughout, the volume explores the ways writers configure their adolescent protagonists as awkward, alienated, rebellious and unhappy, so that the figure of the young adult becomes a symbol of wider political and societal concerns. Examining in depth significant contemporary novels, including those by Julia Alvarez, Stephenie Meyer, Tamora Pierce, Malorie Blackman and Meg Rosoff, among others, Contemporary Adolescent Literature and Culture illuminates the ways in which the cultural constructions 'adolescent' and 'young adult fiction' share some of society's most painful anxieties and contradictions.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction: time of turmoil, Mary Hilton and Maria Nikolajeva; Adolescence and the natural world in young adult fiction, David Whitley; Nationhood, struggle and identity, Elia Michelle Lafuente; Transgression and transition, Georgie Horrell; Romance, dystopia and the hybrid child, Clémentine Beauvais; Cross-dressing and performativity, Nicole Brugger-Dethmers; Monstrous bodies: writing the incestuously abused adolescent body, Lydia Kokkola; 'The beat of your heart': music in young adult literature and culture, Karen Coats; Emotional connection: representation of emotions in young adult literature, Bettina KÃ¼mmerling-Meibauer; Brain and behaviour: the coherence of teenage responses to young adult literature, Shirley Brice Heath and Jennifer Lynn Wolf; Selected bibliography; Index.
Mary Hilton is a Senior Research Fellow at Homerton College and Maria Nikolajeva is a Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge, UK.
A Yankee Book Peddler Literary Essentials Title for 2013 'Contemporary Adolescent Literature and Culture is a theoretically rich collection of essays that gathers together the most compelling and provocative issues currently at play in the study of adolescent literature. Perspectives including feminism, post-colonialism, cognitive linguistics, eco-poetics, genre study, and psychoanalysis work together to demonstrate both how complex adolescent literature is and how much the field has to contribute to the expansion of post-structural literary criticism. The essays are smart, innovative, and sophisticated, making the collection one of the most significant contributions yet to appear in the field.' Roberta Seelinger Trites, Illinois State University, USA 'There are essays from scholars in Sweden, the UK, America and Germany, and the primary texts discussed also come from a range of countries, giving an international, albeit western, perspective and relevance to the collection. As the editors point out, there has been less critical scholarship on young adult literature than there has on children’s literature. This collection is a welcome addition towards redressing that balance.' International Research in Children’s Literature 'Not only are the specific texts valuable within the field, but the overall goal of addressing the important metaphor of adolescence as turmoil and disruption solidifies the transitory nature of this stage of life as it functions within literature for teens. Moreover, established scholars will find the text especially useful for the graduate classroom as emerging scholars begin to navigate the way(s) scholars view and understand young adult literature as distinct and separate from children’s literature.' Children’s Literature Association Quarterly