Alternative Worlds In Fantasy Fiction / Edition 1

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This book provides an illuminating guide to literature that creates alternative worlds for young readers. Focusing on the work of Ursula Le Guin, Terry Pratchett and Philip Pullman, the book considers both the genre of 'alternative worlds' and the distinctiveness of these authors' texts, including Philip Pullman's The Amber Sypglass.

Peter Hunt is Pofessor of English at Cardiff University.

Millicent Lenz is Associate Professor at the State University of New York at Albany.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Scholars Peter Hunt and Millicent Lenz explore the genre of children's fantasy in four related essays. The introductory chapter provides an overview of the ambiguous terms that have been used to define the fantasy genre, a brief and informative history of fantasy in Britain and the U.S., key debates about fantasy literature and its "child" audience, and exemplary fantasy texts. In the next three chapters, the authors focus on three contemporary writers who create alternative worlds that challenge the boundaries of the fantasy genre. Under the authors' scrutiny the reader is introduced to the work of Ursula Le Guin, Terry Prachett and Philip Pullman. The chapters about Le Guin and Pullman include references for further reading as well as short biographical sketches. The book offers a helpful introduction to debates about fantasy that arise in the field of children's literature, and provides an in-depth consideration of the particular contributions made by Le Guin, Prachett and Pullman. It is part of the "Contemporary Classics of Children's Literature" series. 2001, Continuum, $50.00 and 14.99. Ages Adult. Reviewer: Elizabeth Marshall<%ISBN%>0826449360
In his introduction to the alternative and fantasy worlds of Ursula Le Guin, Terry Pratchett, and Philip Pullman, Hunt defends a genre that has been criticized often as formulaic, childish, and escapist. The bringing together of three significant writers, whose works for young people are characterized by their complex and multilayered texts that focus on important philosophical and social issues, certainly testifies to the power and value of a genre that opens up infinite worlds of possibilities. Using extensive quotes, Hunt's chapter provides readers with a flavor of the work of British fantasy and science fiction writer Pratchett. Addressing Pratchett's work in the context of boundaries and overlap between children's and adult books, Hunt discusses the Discworld novels—books for "adults of all ages"—as well as Pratchett's books for children, The Carpet People (Corgi, 1993) and the Johnny Maxwell novels. Lenz's chapter on Le Guin provides a detailed analysis of the Earthsea trilogy and Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea (Atheneum/S & S, 1990/VOYA June 1990). Lenz interweaves her own approach, which focuses on "the psychological growth and development of the protagonists" and issues of gender, with interpretations by other scholars who bring a range of perspectives to bear on the Earthsea books. In the chapter in which she analyzes Pullman's His Dark Materials series, Lenz covers Pullman's sources, explains the conceptual bases of his alternative worlds, and concludes by discussing Pullman's contribution to "the fantasies of alternative worlds." Each chapter is followed by a list of references, and there are citations for authors' Web sites. Lenz also provides brief author biographies.Hunt and Lenz's approach to their subjects is a scholarly one. This title in the Contemporary Classics of Children's Literature series will be especially useful for those engaged in the study of young adult literature. This work also will be eminently useful for professionals wishing to introduce teens to fantasy and alternative worlds. 2001, Continuum, 176p,
— Hilary Crew
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826477606
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 8/15/2005
  • Series: Continuum Collection
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 930,426
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Hunt is Professor of English at Cardiff University, UK.

Millicent Lenz was Profesor at the State University of New York, Albany

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Introduction 1
Ch. 2 Ursula K. Le Guin 42
Ch. 3 Terry Pratchett 86
Ch. 4 Philip Pullman 122
Index 170
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