New Adult Fiction and a New Feminine Experience Public

New Adult Fiction and a New Feminine Perspective Josefine Smith M.A., American Studies; August 2017 The Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg Dr. Charity Fox, First Reader In 2009, St. Martin's Press put out a contest call for a new kind of fiction – a sort of an older Young Adult genre – to connect with fans of YA series like Harry Potter and Twilight who wanted more mature themes as they grew up. By 2013, New Adult fiction had begun to establish itself as a hot new genre in the publishing world. However, when one explores the themes of this new crossover genre, it becomes apparent that this is not some isolated fad or marketing ploy by publishers. Its popularity and grass roots development, as well as its alignment with other societal trends, suggests that this genre is a micro chasm representing the new norm of adulthood for women that has been developing for the past century. In this thesis, I will perform a literary analysis to explore how this genres’ conventions manifest in the texts. From these conventions, I suggest a shift in feminine norms in America that shape women’s experiences during their early adult years, namely between 18-30, and how those norms offer a new way to understand the coming-of-age process that women go through in the 21st century.

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