Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ten top novels that reflect the real qualities of adolescence

Kate Clanchy was born and grew up in Scotland but now lives in Oxford. Her poetry collections Slattern, Samarkand and Newborn have brought her many literary awards and an unusually wide audience. She is the author of the much acclaimed Antigona and Me, and was the 2009 winner of the BBC Short Story Award. Her new book is Meeting the English.

For the Guardian, she named ten top coming-of-age novels, including:
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Pip's journey across a childhood landscape of prisoners, mists, and decaying wedding veils, his drastic leap into adolescence and final turn into a strained, pale adulthood charts the map of adolescence for a century to come.
Read about another book on the list.

Great Expectations appears on Joseph Olshan's list of six favorite books, John Mullan's lists of ten of the best clocks in literature, ten of the best appropriate deaths in literature, ten of the best castles in literature, ten of the best Hamlets, ten of the best card games in literature, and ten best list of fights in fiction. It also made Tony Parsons' list of the top ten troubled males in fiction, David Nicholls' top ten list of literary tear jerkers, and numbers among Kurt Anderson's five most essential books. The novel is #1 on Melissa Katsoulis' list of "twenty-five films that made it from the book shelf to the box office with credibility intact."

Read an 1861 review of "Great Expectations".

Also see: Shani Boianjiu's five top novels about coming of ageEmily Bazelon's five top coming-of-age stories, and A.E. Hotchner's five favorite coming-of-age tales.

--Marshal Zeringue