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Suffer the Little Children: Uses of the Past in Jewish and African American Children's Literature

Suffer the Little Children: Uses of the Past in Jewish and African American Children's Literature (Hardback)

£41.00
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Synopsis

This

compelling work examines classic and contemporary Jewish and African American

children's literature. Through close readings of selected titles published

since 1945, Jodi Eichler-Levine analyzes what is at stake in portraying religious

history for young people, particularly when the histories in question are

traumatic ones. In the wake of the Holocaust and lynchings, of the Middle

Passage and flight from Eastern Europe's pogroms, children's literature

provides diverse and complicated responses to the challenge of representing difficult

collective pasts. In reading

the work of various prominent authors, including Maurice Sendak, Julius Lester,

Jane Yolen, Sydney Taylor, and Virginia Hamilton, Eichler-Levine changes our

understanding of North American religions. She illuminates how narratives of

both suffering and nostalgia graft future citizens into ideals of American

liberal democracy, and into religious communities that can be understood

according to recognizable notions of reading, domestic respectability, and

national sacrifice.

If

children are the idealized recipients of the past, what does it mean to tell

tales of suffering to children, and can we imagine modes of memory that move

past utopian notions of children as our future? Suffer the Little Children

asks readers to alter their worldviews about children's literature as an

"innocent" enterprise, revisiting the genre in a darker and more unsettled

light.

Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismChildren's literature studies: generalEssays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: generalLiterary studies: from c 1900 - Publisher: New York University Press Publication Date: 08/04/2013 ISBN-13: 9780814722992  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Printed to order. Despatched in 2-3 weeks.  

Jodi Eichler-Levine is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and the Berman Professor of Jewish Civilization at Lehigh University (PA).

More books by Jodi Eichler-Levine

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