Young writers have historically played a pivotal role in shaping autobiographical genres and this continues into the graphic and digital texts which characterise contemporary life writing. This volume offers a selection of pertinent case studies which illuminate some of the core themes which have come to characterise autobiographical writings of childhood, including: cultural and identity representations and tensions, coming into knowledge and education, sexuality, prejudice, war, and trauma. The book also reveals preoccupations with the cultural forms of autobiographical writings of childhood and youth take, engaging in discussions of archives, graphic texts, digital forms, testimony, didacticism in autobiography and the anthologising of life writing. This collection will open up broader conversations about the scope of life writing about childhood and youth and the importance of life writing genres in prompting dialogues about literary cultures and coming of age.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Prose Studies.
Table of Contents
1. Telling Tales: Autobiographies of Childhood and Youth Kylie Cardell and Kate Douglas 2. Childhood and Ethnic Visibility in Gene Yang's American Born Chinese Rocío G. Davis 3. Trauma and Young Adult Literature: Representing adolescence and knowledge in David Small's Stitches: A Memoir Leigh Gilmore and Elizabeth Marshall 4. "Indecent Exposure? Margaux Fragoso and the Limits of Abuse Memoir" Kylie Cardell and Kate Douglas 5. Potential: Ariel Schrag Contests (Hetero-)Normative Girlhood Emma Maguire 6. Alice Pung's Growing up Asian in Australia: The Cultural Work of Anthologized Asian-Australian Narratives of Childhood Pamela Graham 7. "Reading Saved Me": Writing Autobiographically About Transformative Reading Experiences in Childhood Tully Barnett 8. Ante-Autobiography and the Archive of Childhood Claire Lynch 9. Autobiography and Play: "A Conversation with My 12 Year Old Self" Anna Poletti 10. " ‘Who knows, will I ever see you again,’ said the one-eyed duck." Reflections on a Soviet Childhood in Leelo Tungal's Life Writing Leena Kurvet-Käosaar
Kylie Cardell is a Lecturer in the School of Humanities at Flinders University, Australia. She is the author of Dear World: Contemporary Uses of the Diary (2014).
Kate Douglas is an Associate Professor in the School of Humanities at Flinders University, Australia. She is the author of Contesting Childhood: Autobiography, Trauma and Memory (2010), and the co-editor (with Gillian Whitlock) of Trauma Texts (2009).