LGBTQ Young Adult Fiction

A Critical Survey, 1970s–2010s


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About the Book

 Young adult literature featuring teenage lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning characters is fast growing in popularity. Unlike the “problem novels” of the past, which focused on the guilt, bullying and isolation of LGBTQ characters, today’s narratives present more sympathetic and celebratory portrayals. The author explores a selection of recent novels—many of which may be new to readers—and places them in the wider contexts of LGBTQ literature and history. Chapters discuss a range of topics, including the relationship of Queer Theory to literature, LGBTQ families, and recent trends in utopian and dystopian science fiction.

About the Author(s)

Caren J. Town is a professor of English at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia.

Bibliographic Details

Caren J. Town
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 208
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9694-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2895-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Preface 1

Introduction—Queer Theory, Queer Literature, Queer YA

Fiction 3

One. Getting There: LGBTQ Young Adult Literature in the 70s and 80s 23

Two. Beyond Deliver Us from Evie: Contemporary Lesbian

Young Adult Fiction 50

Three. “But that’s young gay love for you”: Contemporary Gay Young Adult Fiction 78

Four. “Gender is a choice, not a life sentence”: Young Adult Narratives of Trans Identities 102

Five. “Difference matters”: LGBTQ Families in Young Adult Fiction 134

Six. “What a wonderful world”: Utopias and Dystopias in LGBTQ Young Adult Fiction 157

Conclusion—Why Read (or Teach) These Books, and Where

Do We Go from Here? 181

Chapter Notes 185

Bibliography 187

Index 195

Book Reviews & Awards

“In this important survey, Town deftly balances several elements to serve a variety of readers…Town begins each chapter with a clear, well-annotated review of the pertinent queer/feminist/literary theory, and follows up with a summary and analysis of several YA books illustrating the concepts…recommended”Choice; “This guide for librarians, teacher educators, and classroom teachers describes many young adult novels portraying the lives, struggles, and joy of LGBTQ characters”—ProtoView.