Critical Insights: Coming of Age

Critical Insights Series

The series focuses on an individual author's entire body of work, a single work of literature, or a literary theme.

At a Glance
  • 1 Volume; 300 Pages
  • 10-14 essays offering Current Critical Analysis by Top Literary Scholars
  • Introductory Essay by the Editor
  • Additional Works on Theme
  • Detailed Bio of the Editor
  • General Bibliography
  • General Subject Index
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Edited by Joseph O. Dewey

A quintessential coming-of-age novel, for more than fifty years, Catcher has thrived on its reputation as an underground text, passed among ardent readers with cult-like fanaticism, hard core fans who have found in the lonely misfit Holden Caulfield a companion, a friend for life.

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Editor: Kent Baxter, California State University
October 2012 · 1 volume · 300 pages · 6"x9"

Includes Online Database with Print Purchase
ISBN: 978-1-4298-3731-6
# of Pages: 300
# of Volumes: 1
Print List Price: $105
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e-ISBN: 978-1-4298-3779-8
eBook Single User Price: $105

Great starting point for students seeking an introduction to the theme and the critical discussions surrounding it.

Coming of age has been one of the great themes of literature for over two thousand years. From the maturation of Telemachus in The Odyssey to the stunted adolescence of Holden Caufield in The Catcher in the Rye, it has spanned eras, countries, and cultures. It is the theme of every young person's life, and adolescence a time many adults look back on as one of the most formative periods of their lives.

Edited by Kent Baxter, Associate Professor of English at California State University, Northridge, this volume in the Critical Insights series presents a variety of new essays on the perennial theme. For readers who are studying it for the first time, a four essays survey the critical conversation regarding the theme, explore its cultural and historical contexts, and offer close and comparative readings of key texts in the genre. Readers seeking a deeper understanding of the theme can then move on to other essays that explore it in depth through a variety of critical approaches. Works discussed include Romeo and Juliet; Little Women; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; …and the earth did not devour him; Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian; Jane Eyre; The Catcher in the Rye; and The Odyssesy. Among the contributors are Vincent Cheng, Gregory Eiselein, Jane Hedley, Heather James, and Steven Mintz.

Rounding out the volume are a list of literary works not mentioned in the book that concern the theme of coming of age and as well as a bibliography of critical sources for readers seeking to study this timeless theme in greater depth.