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The Queer Child, or Growing Sideways in the Twentieth Century
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The Queer Child, or Growing Sideways in the Twentieth Century

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  49 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Children are thoroughly, shockingly queer, as Kathryn Bond Stockton explains in The Queer Child, where she examines children’s strangeness, even some children’s subliminal “gayness,” in the twentieth century. Estranging, broadening, darkening forms of children emerge as this book illuminates the child queered by innocence, the child queered by color, the child queered by F...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published October 20th 2009 by Duke University Press Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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The concept of this book has a lot of promise, but I feel like the book itself grows sideways in the sense that it meanders and doesn't really go anywhere. Often times, Stockton's analyses are more like plot summaries that vaguely hint at some form(s) of the queer child. I also feel like the distinctions and connections between the queer child and the 'gay child' are vague and blurry. There's also a bit of Lolita overkill, as she covers the novel and both film versions over something like three...more
The Queer Child is made up of a series of close readings of literary and filmic texts dealing with "perverse" or "queer" children (loosely defined), drawing theoretically on work on queer temporality and animal studies. Unfortunately, Stockton's readings didn't strike me as especially illuminating, a noticeable problem not only when she tackles canonical literature like The Well of Loneliness, Mrs. Dalloway, Lolita, or In Cold Blood, but also in her analyses of recent Hollywood films (the sectio...more
Christina G
The introduction to this book is totally fascinating. Stockton looks at "growing sideways" as it relates to children queered by sexuality, race, money, innocence, and criminality. It made me rethink how I conceptualize childhood, as well as how I remember my own childhood. That's how powerful the introduction is.

However, the book doesn't flesh out or answer these questions in a satisfying way. Stockton has a English Lit background, and I guess I was more interested in a sociological exploration...more
Ralowe Ampu
the most valuable things here are stockton's ideas about the arbitrary boundaries of the subject and how its agency comes constituted in compromise. good lord are her puns bad. in this book she flirts with being as diverse in objects of study as anne mcclintock's imperial leather, but its too rushed. being rushed it comes off kooky. not as kooky as the last book about black and queer switchpoints. but her kookiness its very important to me. she was the most lively and memorable panelist on somet...more
Erdem Tasdelen
Took me a while to figure out what she meant by growing sideways, could have done a better job of explaining it at the beginning (it's not a concept that is hard to grasp after all!)

A bit too all over the place - too much film analysis, too little theory. I mean her writing is very lucid and the films she writes about are definitely relevant but it gets a bit tiresome if you haven't seen the movies yourself.
It's hard to know what to say about this one. On the one hand, Stockton's prose was a joy to read (for me); wacky, playful and florid even as it is addressing an issue that many feel is too taboo to talk about even in hyperclinical terms. If there are some not-so-small problems with her claims, that doesn't mean this isn't a work that will get you thinking, in very different ways, about the queerness of children.
4.5 - I loved this book, Stockton's prose is mesmerizing (such a treat in this academic context), and she has some fascinating arguments about the (broadly defined) queer child. The intro is particularly great as she tidily identifies the genres of queer children that "braid" together (her metaphor) in the following chapters.
Aubrey Hales-Lewis
Mar 15, 2010 Aubrey Hales-Lewis marked it as to-read
I want to read this book because it was written by a University of Utah professor I am hoping to study with in Phd land!
interesting bit about animal friends of the queer child that really got me thinking.
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Kathryn Stockton is a Professor of English at the University of Utah.
More about Kathryn Bond Stockton...
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