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Speech and Silence in Contemporary Children’s Literature

Posted By: roxul
Speech and Silence in Contemporary Children’s Literature

Danielle E. Price, "Speech and Silence in Contemporary Children’s Literature "
English | ISBN: 1032038365 | 2023 | 200 pages | EPUB, PDF | 1244 KB + 9 MB

Speech and Silence in Contemporary Children’s Literature brings a fresh perspective to a central literary question― Who speaks?― by examining a variety of represented silences. These include children who do not speak, do not yet speak effectively, or speak on behalf of others. A rich and unexamined literary archive explores the problematics of children who are literally silent or metaphorically so because they cannot communicate effectively with adults or peers. This project centers children’s literature in the question of voice by considering disability, gender, race, and ecocriticism. Children’s literature rests on a paradox at the root of its own genre: it is produced by an adult author writing to a constructed idea of what children should be. By reading a range of contemporary children’s literature, this book scrutinizes how such texts narrate the child’s journey from communicative alterity to a place of empowered adult speech. Sometimes the child’s verbal enclosure enables privacy and resistance. At other times, silence is coerced or imposed or arises from bodily impairment. Children may act as intermediaries, speaking on behalf of species that cannot. Recently, we have seen children exercise their voices on the world stage and as authors. In all cases, the texts analyzed here reveal speech as a minefield to be traversed. Children who talk too much, too little, or with insufficient expertise pose problems to themselves and others. Implicitly and sometimes explicitly, they attempt to hold adults to account― inside and outside the text.
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