Embracing the YA Albatross: YA Fiction in the Academy

I  mentioned  Philip Pullman’s carnegie medal speech in my first YA post and it seems apt to return to it here in the wake of renewed criticism of YA fiction in universities. I was interested to read Kaja’s post which shows that even YA writers themselves are wary of the YA tag (and I know Marcus would confirm that they often do not set out to write YA novels).  Many are simply exploring supernatural themes that map onto teenage sensibilities and find themselves marketed as YA writers in the shadow of Twilight. I fully support Pullman’s sentiments which show that we should not view these novels as lesser fictions but celebrate them as sensitively engaging with profound topics that often prove too large for adult fiction. I want to reiterate too that some of us are embracing the YA albatross and bringing it alive and kicking into the academy!!

‘We don’t need lists of rights and wrongs, tables of do’s and don’ts: we need books, time, and silence. Thou shalt not is soon forgotten, but Once upon a time lasts forever’

See Generation Dead: YA Fiction and the Gothic course list

There are interesting discussions being had on YA fiction too on the Lancaster Beyond Twilight blog

About Lucy Northenra

Senior Lecturer in Literature, University of Hertfordshire
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