Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Making homeOrphanhood, kinship and cultural memory in contemporary American novels$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Maria Holmgren Troy, Elizabeth Kella, and Helena Wahlström

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719089596

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719089596.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Family matters: Euro-American orphans, the bildungsroman, and kinship building

Family matters: Euro-American orphans, the bildungsroman, and kinship building

(p.126) 4 Family matters: Euro-American orphans, the bildungsroman, and kinship building
Making home

Maria Holmgren Troy

Elizabeth Kella

Helena Wahlström

Manchester University Press

This chapter focuses on John Irving’s The Cider House Rules (1985), and Kaye Gibbons’s Ellen Foster (1987) and The Life All Around Me by Ellen Foster (2006), novels that remember earlier American and English novels to revise the conventions of the bildungsroman and challenge its conventional gender boundaries. In the process, the novels describe the kinship building of the protagonists, who develop complex understandings of kinship ties and a consciously affirmative stance on the value of “alternative family.” Because they are orphans, Irving’s and Gibbons’s protagonists are outsiders, but because they are white they may still lay claim to the dominant formulation of American identity; and the challenge they launch against the nuclear family ideal may be effectual precisely because they occupy a position of racial privilege.

Keywords:   bildungsroman, Euro-American orphans, family, gender, Johan Irving, Kaye Gibbons, kinship, kinship building, race

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.