Daily Archives for: May 31st, 2021

Maureen Daly’s Seventeenth Summer and the Birth of the Teenage Novel

Maureen Daly (1921 – 2006) was an Irish-Born American author and journalist, best known for the novel Seventeenth Summer (1942). Though twenty-one at the time of its publication, she wrote it while in her teens. Originally intended it for adult readers, it drew an enthusiastic audience of teens, and as such, is considered one of the early entries into the genre of Young Adult fiction. This appreciation of Seventeenth Summer is excerpted from Girls in Bloom: Coming of Age in the Mid-20th Century Woman’s Novel  by Francis Booth, reprinted by permission.

The rise of the teenager in the 1940s was accompanied by the rise of the teenage novel: novels written for and about – and even by – teenage girls. The 1940s and 50s saw several series of books by female authors about girls in their “seventeenth summer,” intended to be read by girls of around that age or younger; the exact demographic for the Sub-Deb columns in teen magazines and Betty Cornell’s advice columns. Read More→

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