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Problem novels

September 1, 2011

Another interesting phrase:

“Jennifer Miskec and Chris McGee offer a reading of recent novels for adolescents about self-mutilation or ‘cutting.’  Many of them follow the narrow tradition of the ‘problem novel,’ focusing on pathology and melodrama in order to ‘fix the teen’ at the novel’s center.” (my emphasis, p84)

Ref: Richard Flynn (2007) ‘Children’s Reading and ‘Potential Power’ Children’s Literature Association Quarterly; 83-85

How often is the teen ‘fixed’ in YA lit (problem novels and in general)? I’m wondering about Meg Rosoff… but what about others… there’s Paula Boock of course, but I don’t think problem novels, per se, have such a strong place in NZ… am I right? Need to think about it!


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