Why do some stories written for children have so powerful an emotional resonance for both child and adult readers? This is the question addressed by Margaret and Michael Rustin. in a book which offers a detailed critical reading of some of the best-known mosern British and American stories for children by writers such as E.B. White. Philippa Pearce and C.S. Lewis. The authors make use of psychoanalytical and sociological ideas in their approach, interpreting the stories both as metaphors of states of feeling often experienced by children, and as images of the wider society in which they are written. A particular theme of their discussion is personal and imaginative growth in childhood, and the ways this can be affected, both for better and worse. by separation and loss.
In their detailed consideration of the narratives of the stories, the authors avoid theoretical jargon. and concentrate on works which have interest and meaning for adult readers as well as children. Narratives of Love and Loss is an important and accessible book which wilt be of especial interest to parents and teachers concerned with children's reading and imaginative play, and to those working in the fields of psychoanalysis, English literature and popular culture.