Tag: 1960s

  • Bathroom As Horror: Here There Be Tygers by Stephen King

    Toilets are inherently scary. This holds true across cultures, even though different cultures (and even genders) experience public toilets differently. Below I take a look at a short horror story by Stephen King with a few examples of toilet horror by other authors, in which the public bathroom is utilised for storytelling purposes as a […]

  • Mr Rabbit and the Lovely Present by Sendak and Zolotow Analysis

    Mr Rabbit and the Lovely Present is a 1962 picture book written by Charlotte Zolotow and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Zolotow and Sendak were both giants of American picture book world. Mr Rabbit and the Lovely Present was also a Caldecott Medal Honor Book, so it’s interesting to look through a contemporary lens and see…

  • Cannonball Simp by John Burningham Analysis

    Cannonball Simp cover

    Cannonball Simp is a picture book written and illustrated by John Burningham, first published 1966. This is a story from an earlier Golden Age of children’s literature, one in which ending up in a circus is a good outcome, and also, well, words sometimes change. It’s shame that the 2020 meaning of the word ‘simp’…

  • Higglety Piggelty Pop! or There Must Be More To Life Analysis

    Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More To Life is an illustrated short story, though some might just call it a picture book. The language is too sophisticated to count as an early reader, unlike the Mercy Watson series, of a similar length and also divided into chapters. Why divide such a short story…

  • Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell and Lillian Hoban Analysis

    Bread and Jam for Frances original cover

    Bread and Jam for Frances is a picture book written by Russell Hoban, illustrated by Lillian Hoban, first published in 1964 as a part of a series about a girl in the body of a badger, who lives in a middle class house and has access to all the spoils you’d expect of 1960s middle…

  • Doctor Jack-o’-Lantern by Richard Yates Analysis

    Festival 1934 by Daniel R Celentano

    “Doctor Jack-o’-Lantern” is a short story by Richard Yates, the first in his 1962 collection Eleven Kinds of Loneliness. The story of the new kid in school is very popular in children’s literature, which is of course written for children. But what might a New Kid In School story for adults look like? This is…

  • The Cider Duck by Joan Woodberry Analysis

    The Cider Duck (1969) is an Australian picture book written by Joan Woodberry and illustrated by Molly Stephens. ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND ILLUSTRATOR Joan Woodberry (1921-2010) was an influential, widely-travelled Tasmanian feminist whose efforts made women’s lives palpably better in Tasmania. Finding information on Molly Stephens is a little more difficult partly because she was…

  • Symbolism and The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst Short Story Analysis

    three scarlet ibis flying

    What can I say about “The Scarlet Ibis” that isn’t on Wikipedia? This 1960 short story is loved by English teachers because of its clear literary symbols — a good introduction to symbolism, especially to colour symbolism. COLOUR SYMBOLISM Students can be highly suspicious of close reading when teachers talk about colours and their symbolism. Colours…

  • A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings by Gabriel Garcia Marquez Analysis

    many crabs climbing on rock at seashore

    “A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings” by Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez is sometimes subtitled “A tale for children”. This short story reminded me of middle grade novel Skellig by British author David Almond. Sure enough, Almond has said in interview that he was influenced by the 1960 Colombian short story, and others have…

  • Cumulative Plots and The Fifth Story by Clarice Lispector

    the fifth story clarice lispector

    “The Fifth Story” (1964) is a work of microfiction by Ukraine-born Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector (1920-1977). I tend to analyse short stories by looking at their dramatic arc, but what of a story like this? Surely “The Fifth Story” does not fit traditional ideas of what makes a complete narrative. I also love when I read a…

  • Alice Munro, Queenie & Coercive Control

    One remarkable thing about Alice Munro: her ability to see aspects of psychology which only drew public attention decades later. In “The Bear Came Over The Mountain” we have a beautiful character study of a philandering man and, his self-justification for wrong-doing and what has since been called sexual solipsism. In “Queenie” Munro paints a picture of what the authorities call ‘coercive control’, or what is known in pop-culture as ‘gaslighting’ (after the 1944 movie).

  • Reunion by John Cheever Short Story

    “Reunion” is a short story by John Cheever, first published 1962 in The New Yorker. You can listen to it read by Richard Ford. SETTING OF REUNION As Richard Ford says, Grand Central Station is a place where anything could happen — any two people could meet. The story is set in the 1950s or…