Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Friday, April 29, 2011


The phrase, YOUNG MAN IN THE PROVINCES,  was used by Lionel Trilling, famous literary critic of the 20th century, for a kind of novel that deals with the experiences of a young provincial in a great city. Classic examples are Fielding's Tom Jones and Dicken's Great Expectations. Or YOUNG WOMAN IN THE PROVINCES, would be Dreiser's Sister Carrie.

Another twist on this theme is when the pernicious forces of the city move to the outermost provinces and corrupt a pure savage-- this pattern appears in Huxley's Brave New World.

Can you think of any modern YA novels that have this element as a major theme? With either a boy or a girl as a main character? Remember, the main elements are city and country, and how these different environments affect experience. (Like in the children's story about the city mouse and the country mouse.)

(This post has been inspired by and in some instances, directly quoted from A Handbook to Literature, 8th Edition, by William Harmon and C. Hugh Holman)


  1. hmmm...not YA as that didn't exist in those days but Heidi - who starts out in the city and then moves to the mountains and then visits her friend in Frankfurt (or Hamburg?). Anne (of Green Gables) when she goes off to Halifax to go to 'Normal School'. Becky Sharpe in Vanity Fair - not sure of that one but I think so...

  2. Now you're going to have me thinking all day long. LOL. :-)

  3. Oh, Jan's done a great job! Heidi or Anne have my vote!

  4. How about "The Prince and the Pauper"? And the Twain book about the Connecticut Yankee in the king's court?

  5. Oh gosh - I seriously cannot think of a modern YA with the young man in the provinces theme!!!
    But there must be!! Take care

  6. I can't think of any modern YA books with this theme... um ah.

  7. Robots of Dawn where the Bailey leaves the "planet of city" to go to the "planet of country".

  8. Have enjoyed the A-Z challenge and look forward to reading more from your blog!