ABOUT THIS BOOK
Reading Adoption explores the ways in which novels and plays portray adoption, probing the cultural fictions that these literary representations have perpetuated. Through careful readings of works by Sophocles, Shakespeare, George Eliot, Charles Dickens, Barbara Kingsolver, Edward Albee and others, Marianne Novy reveals how fiction has contributed to general perceptions of adoptive parents, adoptees, and birth parents. She observes how these works address the question of what makes a parent, as she scrutinizes basic themes that repeat throughout, such as the difference between adoptive parents and children, the mirroring between adoptees and their birth parents, and the romanticization of the theme of lost family and recovered identity. Engagingly written from Novy's dual perspectives as critic and adult adoptee, the book artfully combines the techniques of literary and feminist scholarship with memoir, and in doing so it sheds new light on familiar texts.
Marianne Novy is Professor of English and Women's Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. She is author or editor of numerous books, including Imagining Adoption: Essays on Literature and Culture.