Review by Lucy Pettigrew
On February 7th 2019 Alice Oseman published her first graphic novel and first part of her popular young adult webcomic Heartstopper: Volume One. The webcomic has over 50,000 subscribers online, and is also available as an ebook and in traditional print format. I’m not someone who usually picks up a graphic novel or comic over a young adult novel or a modern poetry collection, but this stunning graphic novel blew me away and I can’t wait to pick up the next volume in the series when it comes out – it’s also made me want to read more graphic novels! I will read anything Oseman publishes (it could be a book filled with the word ‘potato’ and I’d still love it).
Heartstopper is a young adult comic that stars Nick and Charlie, who are both trying to navigate life as teenagers in an all-boys grammer school in the United Kingdom. Oseman describes it as an “LGBTQ+ webcomic” as almost all of the characters are part of the community.
The plot of the story is stunning and heart-warming – I quickly became attached to the characters and got so invested that I didn’t put it down in between starting and finishing it. The story combined with the cute art style was a perfect combination and even though it was sad in some parts I still smiled the whole way through because of how utterly enticing it was and how well the story was told.
I couldn’t get enough of the representation either – there were so many characters that were part of the LGBTQ+ community and it felt good to have that representation handled in such a well-written way. All of Oseman’s books so far (which you should also read, they’re fantastic and showcase her talent even more!) have also included LGBTQ+ characters so I was glad that this trend continued in Heartstopper.
Overall, this graphic novel was the perfect read. It was easy to follow and combined with the plotline, art style and representation it made for a really enjoyable experience. Don’t hesitate to pick it up next time you’re in a book shop (or you can get it online!).
Heartstopper is published by Hodder Children’s Books. Check out the LGBTQ+ children and YA collection in our Schools Section of the library.
By Adam Kirkbride
On the 28th of February, the English Literature department here at York St John held a showcase exhibiting the research done by our lecturers. The event comprised of four short presentations given by various members of the department and was thoroughly enjoyable. Here is a brief rundown of the research areas that our staff are working on.
Continue reading ““A Key Moment of Pride”: Reflections on the 2019 Literature Research Showcase”
Thank you to colleagues in the School of Edcuation for letting is know out this exciting opportunity to get into secondary school teaching!
Continue reading “Are you looking for a career teaching English in a secondary school?”
By Abi Whitaker and EllIe Anderson-Ingham
On the night of the 21st of February York Theatre Royal hosted the SLAP event ‘Fat Girl Singing’ by Emma Geraghty. Here Abi and Ellie discuss the performance.
Continue reading “Emma Geraghty’s Social Live Art Performance – Fat Girl Singing”
Ever wanted to know about more about what your Literature lecturers are researching and publishing on?
Come along to our annual Literature Research Showcase on Thursday 28th February (Week 5) from 6-7.15pm in the DG lecture theatre to find out!
Continue reading “English Literature Research Showcase – THIS THURSDAY, ALL WELCOME!”
Our very own subject librarian, Katherine Hughes, has put together a fantastic display for #LGBTHM19. We encourage you to check it out in the main library, and also to visit the School’s Library LGBT display of children and YA books.
Here’s what Katherine says:
ILE are holding a book display during the week commencing 25th February to commemorate LGBT History Month. The display includes fiction, graphic novels, films, poetry and plays by LGBT authors, from Shakespeare’s sonnets to Sarah Waters. Highlighted texts include E. M. Forster’s ‘Maurice’, a novel of gay love in the early 20th century, written in secret and remaining unpublished until after the author’s death; and Virginia Woolf’s ‘Orlando’, the story of an Elizabethan nobleman who lives for three centuries and becomes a woman. Also included in the display is ILE’s new subscription to LGBT Magazine Archive, which chronicles more than six decades of the history and culture of the LGBT community, and is available via the ILE website under Specialist Subject Resources.
The display will be launched this evening by our special LGBT History Month film screening of God’s Own Country, a queer romance between a young farmer and a Romanian migrant worker set on a struggling farm in rural Yorkshire. The film will be screened in Fountains Lecture Theatre (FT/002) for staff and students and will be introduced by Saffron Vickers Walkling, Senior Lecturer in English Literature. The screening is free of charge – just provide your YSJ email address while booking your free ticket.
Saffron says, if you want to review your favourite LGBT texts for our Words Matter blog, please contact her via email.
In this week’s instalment of dissertation corner, Hannah Tindale tells us about her project on the family saga in children’s literature.
Continue reading “Dissertation Corner with Hannah Tindale: The Family Saga in Children’s Literature”
In this week’s Dissertation Corner we talk to Chloe Anson about her work on a creative dissertation set in a dystopia.
Continue reading “Dissertation Corner with Chloe Anson: Experimenting With Dystopia”
On Monday 25th February, York St John Information Learning Services will be launching their LGBT History Month display. I vividly remember, at the age of about 15, finding a book called What Comes Naturally in the Women’s section of the Salisbury Bookshop. By Norwegian writer Gerd Brantenberg, it was a hilarious description of a university student in the 1960s “finding herself” and coming out as a lesbian. As I tried to figure out my own identity at that period a number of films, books and plays helped me to see who I was. The characters were often far from me in time, place and other identities – nineteenth century Americans Patience and Sarah, the confused Cypress in Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo (a novel about an African American family in mid-twentieth century South Carolina and New York) and of course, The Colour Purple, in which Celie falls in love with Shug. Films spoke to me too, such as Hanif Kureishi and Stephen Frear’s My Beautiful Laundrette in which the characters Johnny and Omar struggled with racism, class and Thatcherism, but had no qualms about embracing each other and their sexuality. I also got to play the delightfully ambiguous Count Orsino in an all female production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
So come on down to the library next Monday and have a look at Katherine Hughes’ display. Contact Katherine or Thomas Peach with your recommendations, and if you want to review your favourite LGBT texts for our Words Matter blog, contact Adam Smith or myself, Saffron Vickers Walkling.
PS I’ll be introducing my latest favourite LGBT text God’s Own Country at 5.30 that same day in a free screening for staff and students . Book tickets here.
In this week’s instalment of Dissertation Corner we talk to Ella Bramhall about her project on representations of African-American Womanhood.
Continue reading “Dissertation Corner with Ella Bramhall: Representing African-American Womanhood”
In this week’s instalment of Dissertation Corner, Georgia Fenwick tells us about her project on women and conflict in the world of G. R. R. Martin!
Continue reading “Dissertation Corner with Georgia Fenwick: Women and Conflict in the World of G. R. R. Martin”