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02/2010 Regional Literature

Regional Literature should not only report of the region, according to Mary Austen – it should stem from it, be “flower of its stalk and root”, rooted in and blooming from it. It is not the touristic perspective which is taken here: Region does not serve as a scenic backdrop to the plot but rather codetermines it and places the characters immovably in a certain space and time. 

Books not only allow children and young adults to explore unknown worlds – the readers should also be able to recognize themselves in them. Regionalism provides identification and authenticity in YA-fiction – and, not least, opens windows and doors to unknown worlds for those children and young adults who live elsewhere.

In this issue, we take a tour through the literature of various regions: Christine Lötscher examines the application of legends and myths in Swiss YA-fiction, Grit Alter addresses the concept of identity formation

in Canadian First Nation literature and Lara Brück-Pamplona investigates the influence of the Brothers Grimm on Brazilian folklore studies and children’s literature. Helene Ehriander examines the ideological background of the historical novels by Swedish author Solveigh Olsson-Hultgren and Torsten Mergen presents the literary archive as a possibility for extramural literary education. In addition, I am delighted to present our new review section: Starting with this issue, we will regularly review primary and secondary literature concerning YA-fiction, the primary literature always matching our focal topic. Thus, we kick off by reviewing regional YA-literature from Germany, Austria, the US and Italy.