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Coming of Age in Contemporary American Fiction$
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Kenneth Millard

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748621736

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621736.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Memoirs and Memorials

Memoirs and Memorials

(p.154) 6 Memoirs and Memorials
Coming of Age in Contemporary American Fiction

Kenneth Millard

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses the last two coming-of-age novels, namely Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina and Elizabeth Wurtzel's Prozac Nation. These two novels are first-person narratives of childhood and adolescence that are mainly characterised by violence, pain and other types of emotional and physical anguish. These novels show children in positions of extreme powerlessness, which eventually defines them. While Prozac Nation considers itself a ‘memoir’, Bastard out of Carolina is a work of fiction that has often been understood as a work of non-fiction.

Keywords:   Bastard out of Carolina, Prozac Nation, childhood narratives, adolescence narratives, emotional anguish, physical anguish, extreme powerlessness, memoir, non-fiction

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