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Dorothy, how does that make you feel?

The formidable Kenneth Kidd explores the entwined history of children’s literature and psychoanalysis in Freud in Oz: At the Intersection of Psychoanalysis and Children’s Literature (Univ. of Minnesota, November). Essays include “Three Case Histories: Alice, Peter Pan, and The Wizard of Oz,” “’Maurice Sendak and Picturebook Psychology,” and “T Is for Trauma: The Children’s Literature of Atrocity.” The book, with its extensive endnotes, thorough bibliography (The Horn Book makes a cameo), and well-organized index, is a psychoanalytic literary critic’s dream.

On a related note (sort of), I’m reading Out of Oz (Morrow, November), the last in Gregory Maguire’s cycle of adult books that began with Wicked. Has anyone psychoanalyzed those? Galinda and Elphaba: more than friends? Liir and Nor: mommy issues? Animals and animals: identity crisis? Master’s thesis, anyone?

Elissa Gershowitz About Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College and a BA from Oberlin College.



  1. Gregory Maguire says:

    Hah! You said it. One of the best things about writing about Oz is that no one there ever heard of Freud, or of complexes or syndromes or the Holy Trinity of Id, Ego, and SuperSoaker Ego. Much though I love to write, I find writing about contemporary adults hard, as I think they all know more about themselves, psychologically speaking, than I ever could.

  2. Modern-day Rain’s therapy bills would be through the roof.

  3. Kenneth Kidd says:

    Elissa, thanks for the plug! And how very cool to be mentioned in the same space as Gregory Maguire! formidably yours (or not so much, really), Kenneth

  4. thanks so much Elissa Gershowitz

    seems great book for kids

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