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Rereading a Classic Book for Young Adults: The Representation of Death in Aidan Chambers’ Dance on My Grave

Dimitrios Politis
Advances in Literary Study , Volume 09, pp 1-10; doi:10.4236/als.2021.91001

Abstract: Although in 1982 Chambers’ book, Dance on My Grave, was considered bold, rather provocative, today, almost forty years later we can only treat it as one of the classic daring books that still attracts and challenges modern readers, teenagers and adults. And if the issue of homosexuality mainly identifies the novel nowadays seems commonplace, the matter of death stands virtually as a threatening scene throughout this book. However, the novel’s central hero named Hal Robinson, trying to clear his memories up, after he had experienced an adolescent love that still surpasses everything, entices all but poetically his teenage friends-readers into a dance that exorcizes death and praises life. Following Hal in his pursuits, the present paper seeks, though not exhaustively, to provide some more insights into Chambers’ novel concerning the torturous search of the self as well as the depressing idea of inevitable death that is very closely linked to the transgressions of adolescence.
Keywords: Aidan Chambers / Adolescence / Homosexuality / Identity / Death / YA Readers

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