If you took a class on "New Adulthood"...

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One of the Mad Ones
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If you took a class on "New Adulthood"...

Post by One of the Mad Ones » September 12th, 2010, 5:26 pm

If you took a class on "New Adulthood," which arises from the proposed new fiction genre (New Adult) over at McMillan, what would you like to read/watch?

I'm proposing a class at my university on Rhetoric and Representations of New Adulthood, and I have to develop a reading list, which will include a smattering of novels, short stories, essays, poems, movies, websites, etc. that touch on ideas of youth, identity, home, place in the family and world, first experiences/initiation into adulthood, etc. Mostly it will focus on works centered on a twenty-something protagonist in a contemporary setting, but the age and the setting can be fudged a little to account for the themes of the piece. My tastes are pretty limited to coming of age stories about loss because that's what I like to read the most, which is why I'm seeking input from others. Any suggestions you might have, considering these are mostly college sophomores and I have to be able to back up my choices to the English department, would be greatly appreciated -- I'm sure my future students will appreciate it, too!

Examples of what I'm looking for:
THE BELL JAR, Sylvia Plath
CATCHER IN THE RYE, J.D. Salinger
APATHY AND PAYING RENT, Zach VandeZande
A HEARTBREAKING WORK OF STAGGERING GENIUS, Dave Eggers
"A&P", John Updike
selections from MARY AND O'NEIL, Justin Cronin
movies like REALITY BITES, GARDEN STATE, THE GRADUATE, REMEMBER ME, AWAY WE GO, 500 DAYS OF SUMMER, EMPIRE RECORDS, etc.

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Mira
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Re: If you took a class on "New Adulthood"...

Post by Mira » September 14th, 2010, 5:26 pm

How extremely cool! Sounds like a really fun class you're designing.

I'm alittle unclear about the "New Adulthood" category. Are you talking about books geared toward those in their late teens/early 20s?

Thinking it might be, I would highly recommend Hunger Games for a college crowd. They'll have a blast with the political themes of power and oppression.

What's eating Gilbert Grape is a good book for explorations of loyalty to family vs. loyalty to self. The movie is also very good.

Twilight might make for a fascinating discussion about why it became so popular.

Ordinary People is a terrific book about how terrible loss and stress brings out the hidden, true nature of people. I think. It's been awhile since I read it. I know it's terrific, but I might be off on the theme. The movie is also very good.

I just saw the movie "Before Sunrise". It's a talkfest about love and relationships. I don't know if you'd consider it deep enough, but I bet a college crowd would love dissecting it.

I can't think of any more off the top, but if I do, I'll be back. :)

Add: Girl Interrupted. Excellent movie about a girl deciding to take responsiblity for herself and her life choices - and to try to make good choices. Abit intense, though. I haven't read the book, but I'd imagine it's pretty good.

For very, very intense Precious. To be honest, I haven't read the book or seen the movie. But I've heard they are both powerful. About intense family abuse and salvation.

Down the well
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Re: If you took a class on "New Adulthood"...

Post by Down the well » September 14th, 2010, 5:37 pm

Good job, Mira.

I was trying and trying to think of suggestions, but couldn't come up with anything. But I'll second Precious. What a powerful story. Lots of stuff to talk about with that one.

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Re: If you took a class on "New Adulthood"...

Post by One of the Mad Ones » September 15th, 2010, 1:27 am

Wow, thanks, Mira! Those are great suggestions. My list is getting really long, but the more great material I add, the more excited I get about this class. I do think it will appeal to college students since they are part of the age group, so I hope my department goes for it. I particularly like your suggestion of Before Sunrise. Have you seen After Sunset? They went back several years after the first movie and made a second, and it's more of the same goodness from the first. I haven't read Precious yet, but from what I know about it, it could definitely work. I'm noticing that, either many works from this loose genre have loss of a loved one in common, or I am just naturally drawn to those stories, but some of these explore some other really interesting themes, so I'm grateful for your input! Thanks a ton!

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Mira
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Re: If you took a class on "New Adulthood"...

Post by Mira » September 15th, 2010, 8:46 pm

Thanks Down the Well. I'm nervous about reading Precious. That type of thing can keep me awake for days. But I've heard it's amazing.

One of the Mad Ones - I'm really glad it was helpful. I had fun thinking of things. I imagine you're having alot of fun preparing this class - and the kids are going to love it. :)

I actually think I meant After Sunset. the one with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy wandering around Vienna talking? That's the one. :)

There are also lots and lots of T.V. shows for that age group. Glee is high school kids, but they have some terrific episodes about tolerance and self-acceptance. I haven't seen it myself but Friday Night Lights might have some really good material.

Anyway, you said you have more than enough, so I'll stop. Good luck! The class sounds like a hoot. :)

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Re: If you took a class on "New Adulthood"...

Post by One of the Mad Ones » September 16th, 2010, 1:05 am

Mira wrote: I actually think I meant After Sunset. the one with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy wandering around Vienna talking? That's the one. :)
It could have been either. In Before Sunrise they meet on the train and hang out talking all night. In After Sunset, they re-meet and spend all day talking.

Thanks again for the suggestions. I turn in my proposal tomorrow. I've spent so many days planning, I just hope it works out!

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Re: If you took a class on "New Adulthood"...

Post by Heather B » September 16th, 2010, 6:05 am

What about Feed by Mira Grant? My friend just finished reading it and she said she was up all night crying after it. She said it's very political, which is something she likes but doesn't really interest me.
I read the first chapter of it while we weer waiting for our plane though and I'll say this much, that one chapter was perfectly written and drew me in - I didn't want to give the book back. Also, it gave me nightmares for two nights afterward. But I am a wuss.
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Re: If you took a class on "New Adulthood"...

Post by Sommer Leigh » September 16th, 2010, 8:22 am

Heather B wrote:What about Feed by Mira Grant? My friend just finished reading it and she said she was up all night crying after it. She said it's very political, which is something she likes but doesn't really interest me.
I read the first chapter of it while we weer waiting for our plane though and I'll say this much, that one chapter was perfectly written and drew me in - I didn't want to give the book back. Also, it gave me nightmares for two nights afterward. But I am a wuss.

It is a very very good book. I tell people it is The West Wing with zombies. Some of the technology was a bit unbelievable, but otherwise = awesome. I cried at the end a lot too. Mira Grant pulled a very gutsy move at the end that most authors would never, ever do and it works very well.
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One of the Mad Ones
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Re: If you took a class on "New Adulthood"...

Post by One of the Mad Ones » September 16th, 2010, 2:35 pm

Heather B wrote:What about Feed by Mira Grant? My friend just finished reading it and she said she was up all night crying after it. She said it's very political, which is something she likes but doesn't really interest me.
I read the first chapter of it while we weer waiting for our plane though and I'll say this much, that one chapter was perfectly written and drew me in - I didn't want to give the book back. Also, it gave me nightmares for two nights afterward. But I am a wuss.
Ooh, intrigue. I will check it out!

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