Article Text

PDF
Good grief: bereavement literature for young adults and A Monster Calls
  1. Giskin Day
  1. Correspondence to Giskin Day, Science Communication Unit, Centre for Co-Curricular Studies, Imperial College London, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AZ, UK; giskin.day{at}imperial.ac.uk

Abstract

Recent years have seen a proliferation of critically acclaimed novels for young adults dealing with bereavement. This is part of a ‘bereavement turn’—a contemporary cultural movement to examine publicly our attitudes to death and grieving. This paper examines the narrative strategies in Patrick Ness's award-winning novel A Monster Calls to look at the ways in which the psychic burden of the impending loss of a parent through cancer is managed. The book draws on conventions of children's literature to create a sense of familiarity that helps to balance the emotional stress of the story. The Kübler-Ross stages of grief serve as a heuristic that helps the story deliver catharsis in spite of its inevitably traumatic subject matter. A Monster Calls is an important addition to the canon of fictional pathography.

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.