Witch-figures in recent children's fiction: the subaltern and the subversive

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The witch - a figure drawn into the present from real and imagined pasts - is a remarkably widespread motif in literature for young readers. Books in which a major character is identified as a "witch," of one kind or another, range from picture books through to young adult fiction. This chapter examines the schemata for witches as they appear in children's literature of the past dozen years or so, beginning with some speculations about what needs and desires in contemporary Western society might be met by the witch and hence produce so many witch-figures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Presence of the past in children's literature
EditorsAnn Lawson Lucas
Place of PublicationWestport, Conn.
PublisherPraeger Publishers
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)0313324832
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Publication series

NameContributions fo the Study of World Literature
PublisherPraeger Publishers


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