But he made me aware that the narrator, whether third person or first, is not a neutral figure but an active, even directive, force. Dahl died, in Oxford, England, inat the age of seventy-four, and this September marks the centennial of his birth, in Cardiff, Wales. This suggests something, I think, about why his work for children lingers: a whisper of nostalgia, a bit of history, personal or otherwise.
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Sometimes we all need a fairytale. But once you've stepped out of childhood and into the world of hangovers, STD tests, and tax season, sickly-sweet fantasy worlds can lose their charm a little. There's always a place for the Cinderellas and the Belles, all sassy comebacks and uncomplicated happy endings, but there are periods where grown-ups need their fairytales and legends with a heavy dose of grown-up darkness.
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Summer is a time for taking stock, for relaxing and recharging, and for intense Internet debate about whether Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, or Holden Caulfield reign supreme in the universe of teen fiction. After painstakingly considering my own nominees, I was struck by the dominance of female authors on my short list, including: Harper Lee, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Suzanne Collins, J. Rowling, S.
Love Simon. While in much of YA it is still centred on magical queens, dystopian societies and so many love triangles sometimes involving vampires and werewolvesin the past few years, the genre has diversified by way of representation and inclusivity -- most notably for LGBTQ characters. Just last year, YA novels were published that explored bisexuality, asexuality and the complex makeup of our sexual identities. Queer YA literature is blooming.
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