- My Monster Myself: Recuperating the Maternal in Early Children’s Horror by Zilpha Keatley Snyder and Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
- Children's Literature Association Quarterly
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 39, Number 1, Spring 2014
- pp. 68-87
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- Additional Information
This essay examines Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s Newbery Honor Book The Witches of Worm and the initial trilogy of Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s The Witch’s Sister saga to uncover how they explore cultural fears related to the changing maternal roles of women in the 1970s via the trope of the “gothic” child. While images of possessed or evil children in other works of the same period signal the failure and abject status of mothers, these novels use the trope to reflect on mother-daughter relations and female development in ways that challenge processes of maternal abjection and destabilize normative images of motherhood.