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The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games (Postmillennial Pop, 13)

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Author: Thomas, Ebony Elizabeth

Brand: NYU Press

Edition: 1st Edition

Binding: Hardcover

Number Of Pages: 240

Release Date: 21-05-2019

Details: Product Description Winner, 2020 World Fantasy AwardsFinalist, Creative Nonfiction IGNYTE Award, given by FIYACON for BIPOC+ in Speculative FictionReveals the diversity crisis in children's and young adult media as not only a lack of representation, but a lack of imaginationStories provide portals into other worlds, both real and imagined. The promise of escape draws people from all backgrounds to speculative fiction, but when people of color seek passageways into the fantastic, the doors are often barred. This problem lies not only with children’s publishing, but also with the television and film executives tasked with adapting these stories into a visual world. When characters of color do appear, they are often marginalized or subjected to violence, reinforcing for audiences that not all lives matter. The Dark Fantastic is an engaging and provocative exploration of race in popular youth and young adult speculative fiction. Grounded in her experiences as YA novelist, fanfiction writer, and scholar of education, Thomas considers four black girl protagonists from some of the most popular stories of the early 21st century: Bonnie Bennett from the CW’s The Vampire Diaries, Rue from Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games, Gwen from the BBC’s Merlin, and Angelina Johnson from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. Analyzing their narratives and audience reactions to them reveals how these characters mirror the violence against black and brown people in our own world. In response, Thomas uncovers and builds upon a tradition of fantasy and radical imagination in Black feminism and Afrofuturism to reveal new possibilities. Through fanfiction and other modes of counter-storytelling, young people of color have reinvisioned fantastic worlds that reflect their own experiences, their own lives. As Thomas powerfully asserts, “we dark girls deserve more, because we are more.” From School Library Journal Thomas (Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania) synthesizes theory from several disciplines to build her model of "the dark fantastic"-a cycle in which Black female characters are sidelined in mainstream fantasy narratives for young adults. Readers unfamiliar with cultural criticism or the four properties discussed-"Harry Potter," the book and film The Hunger Games, the BBC's Merlin, and the CW's The Vampire Diaries-are offered a clear way in to understanding the dark fantastic cycle and why breaking it matters. Thomas writes as an academic but also brings in the personal, quoting DeBarge lyrics when reflecting on the role of fantasy in her Detroit girlhood and sharing the story of her involvement with, and subsequent departure from, an early online "Harry Potter" community. The final chapter, "Hermione Is Black," focuses primarily on "restorying" accomplished by diverse and interactive fandoms. Kid lit professionals concerned that no newer texts are covered will find the case studies laced throughout with mentions of more current works and controversies. VERDICT Valuable for introducing readers to a range of concepts (critical race, reader response, postcolonial, and monster theory), this is an important work of criticism on an underexamined topic.-Miriam ­DesHarnais, Towson University, MDα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review " The Dark Fantastic is a wakeup call to all who research, teach, or create young adult speculative fiction ... Thomas issues a call to decolonize the speculative fiction genre and to ensure more texts, films, and television shows that include a Black female protagonist become the norm to influence a new generation of readers and writers. The Dark Fantastic is a must-read." ― Booklist "If you care about thoughtfully engaging with race, Harry Potter, and fandom, you definitely need to check out The Dark Fantastic." ― Mugglenet "Thorough, creative, and revolutionary, The Dark Fantastic addresses the & imagination gap t

Package Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches

Languages: English