Coming to terms with coming of age: Constructions of female adolescence in contemporary fiction for adults and young adults

Tracy Ann Nashel, Fordham University

Abstract

This study explores the constructions of female adolescence in late twentieth-century American novels by women, written for both adult and young adult readers. It analyzes theories of adolescence by examining sociological and psychological studies of girlhood, literary discussions of the female bildungsroman, and current debates about the genre of young adult fiction. This project examines several young adult coming-of-age novels and focuses specifically on the narrative strategies which women writers employ as they attempt to define adolescence for teen girls. Furthermore, this study dissects recurring motifs of female adolescence---of fairy tales, the body and voice---and argues that the subversive power of the dual narratives in the coming-of-age novels by Kathy Acker, Margaret Atwood, Sandra Cisneros, Loorie Moore, and Toni Morrison, enables these texts to expose and explode dominant myths surrounding female adolescence. ^

Subject Area

Literature, Modern|Literature, Canadian (English)|Literature, American

Recommended Citation

Tracy Ann Nashel, "Coming to terms with coming of age: Constructions of female adolescence in contemporary fiction for adults and young adults" (January 1, 2006). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3201135.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3201135

Share

COinS