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Suffer the Little Children [electronic resource] : Uses of the Past in Jewish and African American Children''s Literature

By: Eichler-Levine, Jodi.
Material type: TextTextSeries: North American Religions Series: Publisher: New York : NYU Press, 2013Description: 1 online resource (254 p.).ISBN: 9780814724002.Subject(s): African Americans in literature | American literature -- African American authors -- History and criticism | Children’s literature, American -- History and criticism | Children’s literature, Jewish -- History and criticism | History in literature | Jews in literature | Suffering in literatureGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Suffer the Little Children : Uses of the Past in Jewish and African American Children''s LiteratureDDC classification: 810.9/9282 | 810.99282 LOC classification: PS490 .E37 2013Online resources: Click here to access online
Contents:
Cover; Contents; List of Illustrations; Acknowledgments; Introduction: Wild Things and Chosen Children; A Word about Language; 1 Remembering the Way into Membership; PART I: CROSSING AND DWELLING: AFTERLIVES OF MOSES AND MIRIAM; 2 The Unbearable Lightness of Exodus; 3 Dwelling in Chosen Nostalgia; PART II: BINDING AND UNBINDING: HAUNTINGS OF ISAAC AND JEPHTHAH'S DAUGHTER; 4 Bound to Violence: Lynching, the Holocaust, and the Limits of Representation; 5 Unbound in Fantasy: Reading Monstrosity and the Supernatural; Conclusion: The Abrahamic Bargain; Appendix: Children's Books; Notes
BibliographyIndex; A; B; C; D; E; F; G; H; I; J; K; L; M; N; O; P; Q; R; S; T; U; V; W; Y; Z; About the Author
Summary: "Illuminates the importance of fear and suffering in shaping African American and Jewish children's literature. . . . Gives a cogent understanding of how each community''s difficult historical narratives coupled with their religious and social lives have helped to prepare children to engage an American civic life that has been hostile at times to their ethnic groups." -Anthea Butler, University of Pennsylvania   This compelling work examines classic and contemporary Jewish and African American children's literature. Through close readings of selected titles published since 1945, Jodi Eichler-Levine analyzes what is at stake in portraying religious history for young people, particularly when the histories in question are traumatic ones. In the wake of the Holocaust and lynchings, of the Middle Passage and flight from Eastern Europe''s pogroms, children's literature provides diverse and complicated responses to the challenge of representing difficult collective pasts.   In reading the work of various prominent authors, including Maurice Sendak, Julius Lester, Jane Yolen, Sydney Taylor, and Virginia Hamilton, Eichler-Levine changes our understanding of North American religions. If children are the idealized recipients of the past, what does it mean to tell tales of suffering to children? Suffer the Little Children asks readers to alter their worldviews about children's literature as an "innocent" enterprise, revisiting the genre in a darker and more unsettled light.   Jodi Eichler-Levine  is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Women's Studies at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Her work has appeared in  American Quarterly, Shofar, and Postscripts . 
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Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
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PS490 .E37 2013 (Browse shelf) http://uttyler.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=1168273 Available EBL1168273

Description based upon print version of record.

Cover; Contents; List of Illustrations; Acknowledgments; Introduction: Wild Things and Chosen Children; A Word about Language; 1 Remembering the Way into Membership; PART I: CROSSING AND DWELLING: AFTERLIVES OF MOSES AND MIRIAM; 2 The Unbearable Lightness of Exodus; 3 Dwelling in Chosen Nostalgia; PART II: BINDING AND UNBINDING: HAUNTINGS OF ISAAC AND JEPHTHAH'S DAUGHTER; 4 Bound to Violence: Lynching, the Holocaust, and the Limits of Representation; 5 Unbound in Fantasy: Reading Monstrosity and the Supernatural; Conclusion: The Abrahamic Bargain; Appendix: Children's Books; Notes

BibliographyIndex; A; B; C; D; E; F; G; H; I; J; K; L; M; N; O; P; Q; R; S; T; U; V; W; Y; Z; About the Author

"Illuminates the importance of fear and suffering in shaping African American and Jewish children's literature. . . . Gives a cogent understanding of how each community''s difficult historical narratives coupled with their religious and social lives have helped to prepare children to engage an American civic life that has been hostile at times to their ethnic groups." -Anthea Butler, University of Pennsylvania   This compelling work examines classic and contemporary Jewish and African American children's literature. Through close readings of selected titles published since 1945, Jodi Eichler-Levine analyzes what is at stake in portraying religious history for young people, particularly when the histories in question are traumatic ones. In the wake of the Holocaust and lynchings, of the Middle Passage and flight from Eastern Europe''s pogroms, children's literature provides diverse and complicated responses to the challenge of representing difficult collective pasts.   In reading the work of various prominent authors, including Maurice Sendak, Julius Lester, Jane Yolen, Sydney Taylor, and Virginia Hamilton, Eichler-Levine changes our understanding of North American religions. If children are the idealized recipients of the past, what does it mean to tell tales of suffering to children? Suffer the Little Children asks readers to alter their worldviews about children's literature as an "innocent" enterprise, revisiting the genre in a darker and more unsettled light.   Jodi Eichler-Levine  is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Women's Studies at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Her work has appeared in  American Quarterly, Shofar, and Postscripts . 

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

In this startling analysis of children's literature written by African Americans, Jews, and African American Jews, Eichler-Levine (religion/Jewish studies, Univ. of Wisconsin, Oshkosh) claims that "redemptive" stories about victimization are a necessary part of these works in order to gain acceptance. She bases her claim partly on the idea that an audience of conservative religious whites expects stereotyped story lines that are often tied to biblical stories of (primarily) Old Testament Jews. Eichler-Levine comments on older texts as they influence more-contemporary pieces, but her reader-response analysis focuses mainly on works published in the last 30 years. She starts by dealing with the ways American writers establish Jews and African Americans as prominently important in the understanding of what being American means. She continues this idea with an analysis of journey motifs in works by these chosen groups, commenting on how they create "homes" that reflect audience expectations and exploring the roles that nostalgia and sacrifice play in children's works. The study concludes with the author's discussion of fantasy works that have provided new outlets for less-problematic narratives. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers. T. L. Stowell Adrian College

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