Tag: Children

The Cult of Girlhood

Is girlhood a cult? Emma Cline’s new novel draws on the history of the Manson Family to explore how girlhood and cults both depend on rituals and intimacies. The Girls seems to tell the story of how ...

The Best and Worst Roald Dahl Adaptations

Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG opened earlier this month, to mixed reviews and a box office neither big nor friendly. Now seems like a good time to take stock of the various ...

Comics versus Franquismo

In the late 1960s, dictator Francisco Franco slowly opened Spain to tourism while continuing to obliterate public memory of the retributions meted out after the Civil War (1936–9). I spent those ...

Portable and Infinitely Useful

Now that he has passed his first birthday, my son Miles has begun to handle books differently. Instead of gnawing on them, he stacks them purposefully on each other, pulls them off the shelves and ...

Once More Down the Rabbit Hole

By all means, celebrate the recent 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s fantasy classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by rereading or finally reading the novel and its sequel ...

Gaitskill’s Fictions of Disappointment

In “A Romantic Weekend,” a story from Mary Gaitskill’s first collection, Bad Behavior, a man and a woman who are only casually acquainted go out of town for the weekend. The two seem to have met in a ...

Primal Scenes

This past year, Yoplait began airing a commercial, entitled “Mmm,” which features a family—a man, woman, and two children—eating yogurt, producing a chorus of “Mmms” as they ingest. The mother emits ...

The Woolf Girl

Pity the small back of Alan Kurdi, the drowned Syrian boy who washed up on a Turkish beach, child victim of the refugee crisis. His photo went viral, sparked outrage; perhaps it will win an award ...

Can Child Soldiers Be Saved?

Everybody loves stories about child soldiers, it seems, as long as redemption is involved. A memoir about Sierra Leone’s civil war, for example, is not exactly the feel-good stuff you’d expect to see ...

Why Boys Must Cry

In contemporary Nigerian literature, muscular heroes of postcolonial independence have lost their swagger. Today’s patriarchs read like quaint fogies, stomping their feet about government, money, and ...

The Price of Great Art

When someone who made good art is accused of being a Bad Mother, can she ever be remembered as anything but a Bad Mother? In 1992, Mann’s book Immediate Family tapped into collective anxiety ...

Murderous Schoolgirls

While little girls may be made of sugar and spice and everything nice, in fiction the teenagers they grow into are anything but. We are drawn to stories where girls are scandalous, promiscuous, and ...