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Graphic Novels for Children and Young AdultsA Collection of Critical Essays$
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Michelle Ann Abate and Gwen Athene Tarbox

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781496811677

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496811677.001.0001

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Gothic Excess and the Body in Vera Brosgol’s Anya’s Ghost

Gothic Excess and the Body in Vera Brosgol’s Anya’s Ghost

(p.247) 16 Gothic Excess and the Body in Vera Brosgol’s Anya’s Ghost
Graphic Novels for Children and Young Adults

Krystal Howard

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter presents a reading of Vera Brosgol's graphic novel Anya's Ghost, whose titular adolescent heroine struggles with the issues of body image, unrequited love, and the tensions between her Russian cultural heritage and her desire to assimilate into US culture. Visual expression foregrounds the disconnect between the way Anya's body appears to the reader and the way Anya imagines that her body appears. By juxtaposing Anya's “real” and “imagined” bodies, Brosgol calls the reader's attention to the social and internal pressures about body image faced by young women. Moreover, the simultaneous visual presentation of multiple selves calls young readers to actively engage with the comic narrative and to call into question the various ideologies about women's bodies with which the text engages.

Keywords:   graphic novel, Vera Brosgol, Anya's Ghost, body image, women's bodies, visual expression, young women

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