, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 140-155
Date: 02 Nov 2012

Reading Place: Bodies and Spaces in Québécois Adolescent Literature

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Abstract

This paper examines two Canadian (Québécois) novels for young adults, translated from French to English in Canada: The Road to Chlifa by Michèle Marineau, and Pieces of Me by Charlotte Gingras. We examine the representation of adolescent bodies in space and movement, and how these coming of age narratives play out in relation to discourses about nationality and citizenship. This paper suggests that there are subtle differences in sensibilities in works published in French by Québécois writers and publishers, and that there is evidence of a lingering solitude in relation to young adult literature in Canada. We argue that we need to understand and continue to explicate the complex set of cultural readings and re-readings engendered by these and other coming of age novels that cross real and imagined boundaries of federation and language; that is, we encourage educators to examine representations of adolescent protagonists in relation to the production and reception of literary works that travel within and across our borders.

Theresa Rogers is a Professor in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia, Canada, where she teaches courses in literature teaching, content literacies, and young adult literature. Her work reflects a sociocultural view of literacy practices, and she has written books and articles on literary theory and young adult literature, teaching multiple literacies among youth/adolescents, and critical approaches to teaching literature. Her work has appeared in English Journal, English Education, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, Theory into Practice, The Reading Teacher, and Journal of Literacy Research.
Geneviève Brisson is a doctoral student in Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Her research interests include children’s and young adult literature, literacy practices of Francophones in minority settings, identities and discourse, multiple literacies, and children’s in- and out-of-school literacy practices.