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Wild Child

Author: Naomi Morgenstern

SKU: 9781517903794 Category:
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Exploring how the figure of the \u201cwild child\u201d in contemporary fiction grapples with contemporary cultural anxieties about reproductive ethics and the future of humanity In the eighteenth century, Western philosophy positioned the figure of \u201cthe child\u201d at the border between untamed nature and rational adulthood. Contemporary cultural anxieties about the ethics and politics of reproductive choice and the crisis of parental responsibility have freighted this liminal figure with new meaning in twenty-first-century narratives.In Wild Child, Naomi Morgenstern explores depictions of children and their adult caregivers in extreme situations-ranging from the violence of slavery and sexual captivity to accidental death, mass murder, torture, and global apocalypse-in such works as Toni Morrison\u2019s A Mercy, Cormac McCarthy\u2019s The Road, Lionel Shriver\u2019s We Need to Talk about Kevin, Emma Donoghue\u2019s Room, and Denis Villeneuve\u2019s film Prisoners. Morgenstern shows how, in such narratives, \u201cwild\u201d children function as symptoms of new ethical crises and existential fears raised by transformations in the technology and politics of reproduction and by increased ethical questions about the very decision to reproduce. In the face of an uncertain future that no longer confirms the confidence of patriarchal humanism, such narratives displace or project present-day apprehensions about maternal sacrifice and paternal protection onto the wildness of children in a series of hyperbolically violent scenes.Urgent and engaging, Wild Child offers the only extended consideration of how twenty-first-century fiction has begun to imagine the decision to reproduce and the ethical challenges of posthumanist more

Additional information

Weight 448 g

Naomi Morgenstern


University of Minnesota Press


Paperback / softback




140 x 216 x 22



Country of Pub

United States

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