‘[B] orn to make a real life, however it cracks your heart’
Creative women and daydreaming in Margo Lanagan’s Tender Morsels (2008)
in Incest in contemporary literature
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Since its release in 2008 as a Young Adult (YA) text, Tender Morsels has been subject to widespread praise and censure. In reviews and reading groups it has been criticised by adults (including educators), as well its target audience of fourteen plus readers, for containing circumstances too challenging and traumatic for young readers; and with incestuous sexual abuse and gang rape in the first few pages it is easy to see why that has been the case. By juxtaposing the dominant psychoanalytic theories of literary criticism, with the fairytale retellings by feminist authors from the 1970s to the present time, as well as key second wave feminist texts like Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex (1949) and Susan Brownmiller’s Against Our Will (1975), this novel can be seen to not only challenge the prevalence of a ‘real’ feminism in our literary criticism, but also in the Western world at large.

Editor: Miles Leeson

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