Tag: coming-of-age

  • Homecoming by Ray Bradbury Short Story Analysis

    Homecoming by Ray Bradbury Short Story Analysis

    “Homecoming” is a short story by American writer Ray Bradbury, first published in 1946. A family of ghouls hosts a big family reunion for Allhallows Eve. Dead relatives return for the occasion. Unfortunately for Timothy, he seems to be the only member of the family who doesn’t have supernatural powers. Some readers pick this up expecting a chilling thriller. This…

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  • How To Write Like Carson McCullers

    How To Write Like Carson McCullers

    If you want to start with the best of Carson McCullers, focus on the stories she wrote in the 1930s and 40s. Ill-health and issues related to alcoholism made it difficult for McCullers to keep producing the same high quality of life up until her death. The most prevalent theme in the novels–rejection or unrequited love–repeats itself, as one might…

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  • Melancholia Storytelling Techniques

    Melancholia Storytelling Techniques

    Melancholia is a 2011 film by Lars Von Triers. It’s one of those stories which has variable metaphorical resonance depending on who watches it. The Wizard of Oz and The Little Prince are also like this.

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  • Story Opening: Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters

    Story Opening: Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters

    Detransition, Baby is a contemporary novel that hooked me right away. How did author Torrey Peters do that? Let’s take a closer look.

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  • Extra by Yiyun Li Short Story Analysis

    “Extra” is a short story by Chinese-American author Yiyun Li. Deborah Treisman and Sarah Shun-lien Bynum discuss this story in 2021 at the New Yorker Fiction podcast. This was the second story Yiyun Li published anywhere. “Extra” was included in Li’s 2005 debut collection A Thousand Years Of Good Prayers. Brilliant and original, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers introduces a remarkable…

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  • Films That Centre Characters Over 40

    Films That Centre Characters Over 40

    Are you weary of films about people younger than yourself? You may be over 40. Here are some suggestions.

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  • Donnie Darko Film Study

    Donnie Darko Film Study

    Donnie Darko is a 2001 film set in 1988, in a fictional Virginia town called Middlesex. This genre blend of drama, mystery and science fiction is precisely ambiguous enough to generate much discussion about what is meant to have happened. This is ideal ‘cult-following’ material. Note that Donnie Darko didn’t make much of a splash when first released, but achieved its…

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  • Fish Tank Film Study

    Fish Tank Film Study

    When it comes to storytelling, certain themes are easy to get wrong. Attempts at subversion can end up reinforcing a culturally dominant message. Specifically, attempts to show the sexual vulnerability of teenage girls can tip into objectification in the wrong hands, or sometimes mostly by the people in charge of the marketing materials. When Netflix advertised the film Cuties, they…

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  • Whimsy: What does it mean for a book to be whimsical?

    Whimsy: What does it mean for a book to be whimsical?

    What are the common features of popular works commonly described as ‘whimsical’? A long while ago I swapped a middle grade critique with someone who had used ‘whimsical’ in the title of their work, yet the story itself did not feel whimsical. I started to wonder about the unspoken rules of ‘whimsical’. But could I be wrong about ‘whimsical’? What…

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  • A Glossary of Fairytale Words

    A Glossary of Fairytale Words

    Terms you come across when reading up on fairy tales.

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  • Domestic Abuse Addressed In Children’s Books

    Domestic Abuse Addressed In Children’s Books

    If you’re looking for children’s book which deal with domestic abuse, there are many examples at all reading levels across various genres. While young adult authors are well-known for their willingness to confront difficult subject matter head on, readers can also find domestic abuse addressed in picture books.

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  • Homelessness In Children’s Stories

    Homelessness In Children’s Stories

    Home-away-home. That’s the classic pattern of a children’s story. When we’re talking about stories in general, we might say the Odyssean Mythic pattern. A hero goes on a journey, meets a variety of opponents and allies along the way, then either returns home or finds a new one. Unfortunately, not all young people have a solid home base. Fortunately, there…

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  • Stone Mattress Short Story by Margaret Atwood Analysis

    Stone Mattress Short Story by Margaret Atwood Analysis

    “Stone Mattress” is a masterful short story written by Margaret Atwood, published in The New Yorker in 2011. You’ll also find this story in the Nine Wicked Tales collection.

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  • The Halfmen of O by Maurice Gee

    The Halfmen of O by Maurice Gee

    The World of O is a trilogy of fantasy novels by New Zealand author Maurice Gee published 1982-1985. The Halfmen of O (1982) is the first of the series. We might call this series The New Zealand Chronicles of Narnia with a bit of sci-fi thrown in. There are also tropes recognisable from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

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  • The Tricksters by Margaret Mahy Young Adult Novel Study

    The Tricksters by Margaret Mahy Young Adult Novel Study

    The Tricksters is a young adult novel by New Zealand author Margaret Mahy, first published in 1986. Mahy wrote many stories for children, but The Tricksters seems to be one frequently talked about in scholarship circles, alongside The Changeover and The Haunting, which both won The Carnegie Medal. The Tricksters is a rare example of the new female mythic form, in which a main character (often femme, sometimes not) thinks and feels their way through a problem rather than leaving home to go on a journey and fight a bunch of opponents.

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