Cub Reporters considers the intersections between children’s literature and journalism in the United States during the period between the Civil War and World War I. American children’s literature of this time, including works from such writers as L. Frank Baum, Horatio Alger Jr., and Richard Harding Davis, as well as unique journalistic examples including the children’s page of the Chicago Defender, subverts the idea of news. In these works, journalism is not a reporting of fact, but a reporting of artifice, or human-made apparatus—artistic, technological, psychological, cultural, or otherwise. Using a methodology that combines approaches from literary analysis, historicism, cultural studies, media studies, and childhood studies, Paige Gray shows how the cub reporters of children’s literature report the truth of artifice and relish it. They signal an embrace of artifice as a means to access individual agency, and in doing so, both child and adult readers are encouraged to deconstruct and create the world anew.
“Cub Reporters adds an exciting new volume to the growing collection of scholarship about American periodical culture and children’s culture alike. Gray lays out her arguments neatly and convincingly, and supports them, throughout. The book is accessible, convincing, and engaging, and is poised to become a touchstone for future academic work.” — Karen Roggenkamp, author of Narrating the News: New Journalism and Literary Genre in Late Nineteenth–Century American Newspapers and Fiction
Paige Gray is Professor of Liberal Arts at the Savannah College of Art and Design.
This casebook for the story includes an introduction by the editor, a chronology of the author's life, the authoritative text of the story itself, comments and letters by O'Connor about the story, critical essays, and a bibliography. The critical essays span more than twenty years of commentary and suggest several approaches to the story--formalistic, thematic, deconstructionist-- all within the grasp of the undergraduate, while the introduction also points interested students toward still other resources. Useful for both beginning and advanced students, this casebook provides an in-depth introduction to one of America's most gifted modern writers.