• Curing cancer fiction: The significance of abjection within young adult novels about cancer

      Blair, Peter; Haig, Francesca; Belcher, Imogen (University of Chester, 2013-10)
      This dissertation explores the representations of death, illness and sexual relationships within seven young adult novels, in which the texts main thematic interest surrounds the protagonist’s experience of cancer. The text’s chosen for analysis are: John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars (2012), Jenny Downham’s Now is Good (2012), Wendy Wunder’s The Probability of Miracles (2011), Lois Lowry’s A Summer to Die (1977), Lurlene McDaniel’s Too Young to Die (1989), McDaniel’s Six Months to Live (1985) and McDaniel’s Till Death Do Us Part (1997). This dissertation argues that the extent to which a text could be seen to engage with Julia Kristeva’s theory of abjection, as described within her seminal text The Powers of Horror An Essay on Abjection (1982), has a specific correlation to how the portrayal of death, illness and romantic relationships read. Moreover texts which fail to engage consistently with the abject, by ignoring or minimising the realities of cancer and subjectivity of the protagonists, are likely to propagate problematic stereotypes about death, illness and sexual intimacy.