Synopses & Reviews
Are some of the world's most talented children's book authors essentially children themselves? In this engaging series of essays, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alison Lurie considers this theory, exploring children's classics from many eras and relating them to the authors who wrote them, including Little Women author Louisa May Alcott and Wizard of Oz author Frank Baum, as well as Dr. Seuss and Salman Rushdie. Analyzing these and many others, Lurie shows how these gifted writers have used children's literature to transfigure sorrow, nostalgia, and the struggles of their own experiences.
"[T]he essays are consistently entertaining, enlightening and erudite, and Lurie's insights into a host of classic titles, including such topics as gender role reversal and social satire in the Oz books, the enduring power of symbolism in fairy tales and changing literary tastes over the past two centuries, bring clarity to an always-evolving form.
In clear, lively, unpretentious style, Lurie writes serious literary criticism about the best children's books, classic and contemporary
she talks to adults about the stories and how they reflect the changing image of childhood. This time she also focuses on the writers' own lives and what their stories say about their growing up or not wanting to grow up. Booklist
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lurie explores children's classics from many eras and relates them to the authors who wrote them--from "Little Women" author Louisa May Alcott to Salman Rushie--and shows how these gifted writers used children's literature to transfigure the struggles of their own experiences.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 187-208) and index.
About the Author
Alison Lurie is the author of many highly praised novels, including The War Between the Tates, The Truth About Lorin Jones (Prix Femina Etranger), and Foreign Affairs (Pulitzer Prize for fiction). Her most recent book was Familiar Spirits. She teaches writing, folklore, and literature at Cornell University.
Table of Contents
The underduckling : Hans Christian Andersen -- Little women and big girls : Louisa May Alcott -- The oddness of Oz -- Is there anybody there? : Walter de la Mare's solitary child -- John Masefield's boxes of delight -- Moomintroll and his friends -- Dr. Seuss comes back -- Haroun and the sea of stories -- The perils of Harry Potter -- What fairy tales tell us -- Boys and girls come out to play : children's games -- Poetry by and for children -- Louder than words : children's book illustrations -- Enchanted forest and secret gardens : nature in children's literature.