Memoirs and Memorials

Kenneth Millard

in Coming of Age in Contemporary American Fiction

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9780748621736
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651740 | DOI:
Memoirs and Memorials

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  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)


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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

Chapter.  12730 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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