Artful stories: biography and the picture book

Alison Halliday

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


We seek to know, through similarity and difference , what others’ life histories are, as part of a conversation, within and without us, of the individual in society and history. (McCooey, 1996, p.25) Life stories, biography and autobiography, are ambiguous and complex narratives. In them the distinctions of writer and narrator, researcher and subject, fact and fiction become blurred. The process of narrating also raises ethical problems (Malcom, 1994; Morrison, 1998) from the right to privacy to ownership pf one’s own, or another’s story. When notions such as there are applied to children’s literature they become more contentious. Memory is a fundamental aspect of children’s literature. Adults write for children and in so doing they rely on observations of children, what children may say about being a child and, most strongly, memories of their own childhood. The role of memory is one of dispute and intense debate, (Crews, 1997; McCooey, 1996) in disciplines from psychology and psychoanalysis to the historian and the biographer. Its functions become imperative and multiple in life stores written for children.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCinderella transformed
Subtitle of host publicationmultiple voices and diverse dialogues in children's literature
EditorsJohn McKenzie, Doreen Darnell, Anna Smith
Place of PublicationChristchurch, New Zealand
PublisherCentre for Children's Literature, Christchurch College of Education in association with Australasian Children's Literature Association for Research
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)0908858078
Publication statusPublished - 2003
EventACLAR Conference (2001) - Christchurch, New Zealand
Duration: 26 Jan 200128 Jan 2001


ConferenceACLAR Conference (2001)
CityChristchurch, New Zealand


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