Bildungsroman

I’ve been reading WA’s Fiction Focus (Vol 24 2010 Issue No. 1) and discovered that Ben Beaton’s Mama’s Song has been placed in the genre of Bildungsroman. Ugly looking word. But the Germans do have a genius for creating words with particular meanings. (No, I wasn’t thinking of Schadenfreude.)

So WA says it is coming-of-age novel. A useful word to have, since it’s tiresome to keep saying ‘coming-of-age novel’ and its nice to have another way of saying it. And it was invented way back in 1820 (by a German of course). I like that it has fairytale origins.

Here’s the Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bildungsroman

I’m not sure where it begins and ends though. Is Sue Lawson’s After bildungsroman (defined as “Realistic), or Karen Tayleur’s Hostage (“Realistic”, or Lili Wilkinson’s Angel Fish (“Historical”))?

Much of YA fiction seems to pretty much fit into the genre. Here’s the brief: “The protagonist grows from child to adult in the novel. [That could be emotionally.] At an early stage, a loss or some sort of discontent pushes him or her away from home or the family setting, providing an impetus to embark on a journey.” Interesting.

Thanks for CMIS for the tipoff.

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