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I argue that in contemporary children's and young adult literature, the collage effect is used in order to unsettle the traditional Künstlerroman, the artist's coming-of-age narrative, and make visible the political and social forces that help to shape the writer's developmental process. Woodson's verse novel employs collage in both form and content by blending lyric, document, image, and found family object in order to give voice to the difficulties experienced by her protagonist and to explore both confession and crisis. Specifically, the collage effect highlights the way in which Brown Girl Dreaming engages with movements in contemporary American poetry and children's literature: namely, confessional poetry and the problem novel.
Project Themes:African American Studies Children's and Young Adult Literature Interdisciplinary Arts and Media Poetry