University of Alberta Press

Book details

Publication date: April 2000
Features: notes, bibliography, index
Keywords: Literature;Criticism;Interpretation
Subject(s): JUVENILE NONFICTION / Literary Criticism & Collections, Literature;Criticism;Interpretation, Literary Criticism, Philosophy
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press

Martha Westwater.

".fine piece of academic writing." Dave Jenkinson, CBRA


"Westwater combines close textual analysis and a sparing use of Kristevan language to cast a useful light on the works under discussion." - Deirdre Baker, University of Toronto Quarterly, Winter 2001/2002, Letters in Canada, vol 71:1


"Each of the chapters moves delicately and dexterously through both the novels and the theory, crafting subtle readings that are compelling in their elegance and their profoundly moral vision. Westwater's rigorous engagement with difficult material and difficult theory clearly demonstrates something that I can only call love throughout this book--love for the literature and love for its intended audience." Karen Coats, Children's Literature Association Quarterly, Vol. 26, no. 4


"Raising the familiar alarum that "we are in a state of cultural decay" and that our "values are on the verge of decline," Martha Westwater sets out to demonstrate, with the help of Julia Kristeva's psychoanalytical theory, how young adult novelists are helping to mend the damaged souls and psyches of today's youth. . . Westwater chooses six prize-winning Y.A. authors from different parts of the. . . English-speaking world (Aidan Chambers, Robert Cormier, Kevin Major, Jan Mark, Katherine Paterson, and Patricia Wrightson) to illustrate different facets of Kristevan theory (for example "the chora" and "abjection"). This makes for a very neatly structured argument, each chapter comparing one author's fiction to one aspect of Kristeva's work. An obviously sincere and humane desire to address and alleviate the desperate situation of many of today's young people motivates Westwater." Canadian Literature 175 (Winter 2002)


".by balancing engaging accounts of individual novels and stories against "Kristevan" analysis, she too, indicates the importance of using philosophy and theory in the sometimes trivialized field of "kiddy lit." The chapters on Robert Cormier and Jan Mark are especially worthwhile. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty." J. J. Benardete, CUNY Hunter College, CHOICE

ISBNs: 9780888643209 978-0-88864-320-9 Title: giant despair meets hopeful