[DWJ] Cart and Cwidder Cwestion

Gili Bar-Hillel gbhillel at netvision.net.il
Tue Mar 6 17:18:06 EST 2012

Interesting that Cart and Cwidder is such an early book of hers, I would
have guessed that it's later. A lot of her favorite themes are quite
developed here.

As for "bad" parents, interesting in this context to reread DWJ's review of
Hilary McKay's "Permanent Rose", which I keep coming back to. McKay
portrays neglectful parents who manage to somehow raise happy children, and
Diana seemed almost offended by this, pointing out that children in
dysfunctional families are seldom not miserable. "Children of an orderly
home will probably enjoy the chaotic family life, where Rose can draw on
the walls and eat porridge for a random meal. But I am not sure that
children from a dysfunctional background will enjoy it at all. When things
have gone this wrong in a family - as they often do - children are faced
with a dreary emptiness, a void where care and security should be... Rose's
every act is an act of desperation, seeking to control those parts of her
life that are within her reach. She cannot afford to acknowledge the real
void, nor can anyone else in her family... As a child of a dysfunctional
family myself, I found it truly depressing."

Full review here:

On Tue, Mar 6, 2012 at 8:35 PM, rohina <rohinax at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi All
> In my Children's Lit class, which I am teaching this semester, we end up
> talking a lot about absent parents, and how "bad" parents are taboo in
> Children's Lit - like parents can DIE, but actively being neglectful is
> pretty unusual, and I find it interesting that DWJ is one of the few
> writers willing to break this taboo. C&C seems to me to be a book where the
> parents really are terrible, but I wonder if I am affected by rereading it
> as an adult.
> Thoughts?
> Robyn
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