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Gilmore, Leigh und Elizabeth Marshall: "Trauma and Young Adult Literature. Representing adolescence and knowledge in David Small’s Stitches: A Memoir." In: Prose Studies 35.1 (2013), S. 16–38.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Gilmore2013
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Keywords: "Stitches", Autobiographie, Kinder- und Jugendcomics, Small. David, Trauma, USA
Creators: Gilmore, Marshall
Collection: Prose Studies
This essay focuses on the graphic memoir Stitches, written by award winning children’s picture book author and illustrator, David Small. Unlike Small’s other projects aimed at school-aged children, including So You Want to be the President? and Imogene’s Antlers, Stitches is a graphic trauma narrative intended for an older audience. Through a visual language of gray shadows and bold, off-center outlines, Small’s comics chronicle his traumatic coming-of-age, including psychological abuse within his family, and radiation-induced cancer. When Stitches was nominated for a National Book Award in the young people’s literature category rather than in the adult category, its placement exposed assumptions about the line between young adult (YA) and adult literature. Drawing on theories of trauma and self-representation, we consider how the placement of Stitches within the YA category and the ensuing controversy calls into crisis how youth is framed, by and for whom, and with what limitations. Graphic storytelling allows Small to engage with traumatic material visually and in turn to expose conventional ideas about youthful knowledge, agency, and witness.
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