Children’s Literature and New York City
Edited by Keith O'Sullivan, Padraic Whyte
To Be Published September 1st 2013 by Routledge – 228 pages
This book visits the significance of New York City in children’s literature, stressing literary, political, and societal influences on writing for young people from the twentieth century to the present day. Contextualized in light of contemporary critical and cultural theory, the chapters examine the varying ways in which children’s literature has engaged with New York City as a city space, both in terms of (urban) realism and as an ‘idea’, such as the fantasy of the city as a place of opportunity, or other associations. The collection visits not only dominant themes, motifs, and tropes, but also the different narrative methods employed to tell readers about the history, function, physical structure, and conceptualization of New York City, acknowledging the shared or symbiotic relationship between literature and the city: just as literature can give imaginative ‘reality’ to the city, the city has the potential to shape the literary text. This book critically engages with all the major forms and genres of literature for children/young adult that dialogue with New York City, considering such authors as Margaret Wise Brown, Felice Holman, E. L. Konigsburg, Maurice Sendak, J. D. Salinger, John Donovan, Shaun Tan, Elizabeth Enright, and Patti Smith.
Introduction Pádraic Whyte and Keith O’Sullivan
1. A City Cold and Wild: Nature and Social Justice in the Writings of Felice Holman and Paul Griffin Suzanne Marie Hopcroft
2. Bank Street and Beyond: New York City in the Here and Now Books of Lucy Sprague Mitchell and Margaret Wise Brown Joseph Stanton
3. ‘Cities will Sing’: Natural New York Jenny Bavidge
4. Clothing and the (Multipli)City Jane Carroll
5. ‘Form Follows Function’: Elizabeth Enright’s Melendy Quartet (1941–1951) Julie Anne Stevens
6. I am an Island: Caribbean Immigrants to New York City in Children’s Literature Karen Sands-O’Connor
7. Just Kids: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Androgyne in New York Roni Natov
8. Music, New York and Mid-Century Liberal Imagination in The Cricket in Times Square Helen Conrad O’Briain
9. New York: a Dystopian Utopia in Visual Narratives Valerie Coghlan
10. Self in the City: Young Adult Fiction About New York City After 9/11 Jo Lampert
11. ‘Rules for Life in New York City’: Urban Mobility in Twentieth-century Children’s Literature Sonya Sawyer Fritz
12. The Grid-Plan Boroughs of New York City: Icons of Experiences of Modernity Keith O’Sullivan
13. The View from the Top of the Bus: Curious George in Émigré New York Katie Trumpener
14. Urban Planning in a Global City: Transformative Potential and Young Adult Fiction Pádraic Whyte
Pádraic Whyte is Assistant Professor of English at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.
Keith O’Sullivan is Lecturer in English at the Church of Ireland College of Education, Ireland.