In Transition: Young Adult Literature and Transgender Representation

Corbett, Emily. 2024. In Transition: Young Adult Literature and Transgender Representation. Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 9781496852601 [Book] (In Press)

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Abstract or Description

This book takes as its focus transgender representation in young adult literature. It asks how transgender young adult (YA) literature can function as a lens to observe the ways that publishing attitudes towards trans-ness, and laterally YA literature, have shifted in the twenty-first century. As such, it charts the changing shape of the YA book market against the socio-cultural moment in which the books have been published. This interrogation of the transitions that have occurred in the US and UK transgender YA book market between 2004 and 2020 – its conventions, authorship, genres, character diversity, and ideologies – reveals a shift from cisgender-dominated publishing to the recent increase in the presence of transgender people as creators and readers. Over five chapters, this book examines the introduction of transgender representation as a ‘problem’ by cisgender authors; the subsequent transformation of the market through transgender authorship, intersectional diversity, and a marketable desire for authentic stories; the expansion of transgender representation into speculative fiction genres; the emergent authority of transgender teenagers in parent-adolescent relationships that cut across genre; and the boundary-pushing inclusion of transgender young people’s own stories in transgender YA memoirs. In doing so, this book contributes new perspectives on the intersecting subject positions of adolescence and trans-ness and sheds light on a dynamic subset of YA literature that has thus far received little critical attention outside of its inclusion in the broader field of LGBTQ+ YA literature.

Item Type:



transgender representation, young adult (YA) literature, LGBTQ+ YA literature, publishing, book market, adolescence, trans-ness

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies


June 2024

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

08 Sep 2023 15:17

Last Modified:

03 May 2024 09:59


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