Disturbing the universe: power and repression in adolescent literature

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University of Iowa Press, Oct 1, 2000 - Literary Criticism - 189 pages
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The Young Adult novel is ordinarily characterized as a coming-of-age story, in which the narrative revolves around the individual growth and maturation of a character, but Roberta Trites expands this notion by chronicling the dynamics of power and repression that weave their way through YA books. Characters in these novels must learn to negotiate the levels of power that exist in the myriad social institutions within which they function, including family, church, government, and school.

Trites argues that the development of the genre over the past thirty years is an outgrowth of postmodernism, since YA novels are, by definition, texts that interrogate the social construction of individuals. Drawing on such nineteenth-century precursors as Little Women and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Disturbing the Universe demonstrates how important it is to employ poststructuralist methodologies in analyzing adolescent Literature, both in critical studies and in the classroom. Among the twentieth-century authors discussed are Blume, Hamilton, Hinton, Le Guin, L'Engle, and Zindel.

Trites' work has applications for a broad range of readers, including scholars of children's literature and theorists of post-modernity as well as librarians and secondary-school teachers.

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User Review  - tdfangirl - LibraryThing

This is a really excellent book about the problem novel in adolescent lit. Trites applies several theoretical frameworks in this text, from Freud and Lacan to Foucault, as well as several major ... Read full review

Disturbing the universe: power and repression in adolescent literature

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Readers interested in the warm and fuzzy side of globalization might want to take a look at this work. Grearson and Smith, both from intercultural marriages themselves, spoke with over a dozen couples ... Read full review


Maybe that is writing changing things around and disguising the forreal
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About the author (2000)

Roberta Seelinger Trites is a professor of English and acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Illinois State University, where she teaches children's and adolescent literature. She is the author of Waking Sleeping Beauty: Feminist Voices in Children's Novels (IOWA 1997), which won an ALA Choice Award and which was recently translated into Japanese.