Tag: Children

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 ...

Falling Faintly: McEwan’s Latest

In 1893, the Scottish writer William Sharp began publishing poetry under the pseudonym Fiona MacLeod. MacLeod’s poems caught the eye of W. B. Yeats, who admired her lyricism even as he disdained the ...

A Head of His Time

Recently longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, John Corey Whaley’s eagerly awaited second novel, Noggin, promises second chances: life after death. Or not death ...

Knausgaard’s Novel Degree Zero

In the early autumn of 1974 three divers working off the coast of Tromøya Island in southern Norway located the remains of an 18th-century Danish wreck. The ship they found, the Fredensborg, sank in ...

Passing Beauty

How do you break a spell? How do you get over the grief of racial, gendered, and childhood injuries? Helen Oyeyemi’s novel Boy, Snow, Bird is not a black-and-white parable but a black-and-blue story ...

Through the Looking Glass

Although the numbers are at epidemic levels (in the United States, it is estimated to affect 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys),1 autism remains a singular experience—as unique as each individual ...

On Christopher Street Pier

This is the inaugural installment of Public Streets, a series of observations on urban life curated by the novelist Ellis Avery. I’ve seen that child before, a boy of 10 or 12 in suspenders and a ...

Queer Magic

Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Michelle Tea’s Mermaid in Chelsea Creek both use magic to imagine solutions to childhood anxieties: What do you do when your family doesn’t feel ...

Her Mother and Herself

Do you hear a sound like rolling surf in the self-help section labeled “Family”? It’s what a sea change sounds like in its early stages, when one paradigm is fading away and another surging forward ...

The North Is the Dark Place

“The North is the dark place.” The first words of The Daylight Gate will not be surprising to readers familiar with Jeanette Winterson’s gothic upbringing in the north of England (200 Water Street ...

Ordinary People

Edwidge Danticat has a way of making small lives tell big stories. Gently and quietly, she writes the outrageous and compels us, her readers, to become intimate with tragedies that are at once ...

Giving Birth to a Country

In NoViolet Bulawayo’s shattering debut novel, We Need New Names, proper nouns contain continents. Paradise is the ironically named Zimbabwean shantytown where the book’s ten-year-old protagonist and ...

Fostered Alike By Beauty and By Fear

Foster kids are often called orphans of the living. It’s a particularly apt designation and rich emotional territory for a novel. Foster kids can neither mourn their missing parents nor fully attach ...

Animal Studies

Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman, without turning into a beast. In Lydia Millet’s Magnificence, a widow feeling guilty about her husband’s death compares herself to a taxidermy display of stuffed ...