Sapphic Representations in Contemporary Young Adult Literature
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This master thesis investigates sapphic representations in contemporary Young Adult literature. The focus of the project is how sapphic identity is presented through a close reading of two queer Young Adult novels, Girl Mans Up and The Grief Keeper. The thesis investigates the ways in which sexuality and gender identity is presented and whether these are problematized. Additionally, the different aspects of identity and how they interact and effect each other is explored. Further, the thesis investigates how the different aspects of identity are described and met by the main characters as well as their social circles. The projects research what earlier narrative tendencies exist within LGBT Young Adult literature and compares the two Young Adult novels against these previous narrative tropes to discern to what degree they subscribe or break with earlier patterns. The findings from close reading demonstrates that the two Young Adult novels to a large degree break with established tendencies within queer Young Adult literature. These include that both novels present happy relationships between the sapphic characters, and that the books do not end tragically. There are some patterns that still persist, such as the lack of bisexual characters. Additionally, Girl Mans Up showcases a complex and problematized depiction of gender identity. This is also included in The Grief Keeper, but sexuality and cultural identity is the primary focus there. Both novels have nuanced representations of sapphic identity and how this interacts with other aspects of identity, people, and places.
MBUL550 Master in Children and Young Adults' Literature