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y separately published work icon Touching Earth Lightly single work   novel   young adult  
Issue Details: First known date: 1996... 1996 Touching Earth Lightly
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Janey's background is grim - lock-the-door-at-night-type grim - but nothing weighs her down for long. She's wild, sexy, reckless, funny. Being friends with Janey is a roller-coaster ride - never dull, often risky.

'Chloe is the steady one; she anchors Janey as much as she can. But just how far can friendship go? That question is shockingly, brutally answered when Janey's world catches up with her.'

Source: Publisher's blurb (2001 ed.).

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • St Leonards, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Allen and Unwin , 1996 .
      image of person or book cover 2899168342978411949.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 208p.
      Reprinted: 1997
      Note/s:
      • Ark Fiction
      ISBN: 186448117X
    • St Leonards, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Allen and Unwin , 2001 .
      image of person or book cover 4430586671098447527.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 192p.
      ISBN: 1864488239
Alternative title: Sogni rubati
Language: Italian
    • Trieste,
      c
      Italy,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Edizioni E. Elle ,
      1997 .
      image of person or book cover 726678251359120810.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 233p.
      ISBN: 8847701287

Works about this Work

Using Modernist Techniques to Promote Deep Reading in Y.A. Fiction Michelle Mcrae , L. M. Rutherford , 2019 single work criticism
— Appears in: New Writing , vol. 16 no. 2 2019; (p. 128-138)
y separately published work icon Representations of Heterotopia in Selected Young Adult Novels and Scout, a Young Adult Novel Nicole Annette Plüss , North Ryde : 2011 18160090 2011 single work thesis Creative writing dissertation.
Over Her Dead Body : Expelling The Monstrous-Feminine in Touching Earth Lightly Kathryn James , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Papers: Explorations into Children's Literature , May vol. 16 no. 1 2006; (p. 25-32)
Kathryn James' close analysis of Margo Lanagan's Touching Earth Lightly (1996) explores the 'sex-leading-to-death' motif and the inextricable link between death and sex/sexuality that is a pervasive part of the Western cultural imagination. James draws from the work of Foucault and Kristeva, to argue that the repression of cultural anxieties regarding death in Western societies re-emerge as an erotic pleasure which is a 'symbolic response to the uncontainable threat of mortality through the figure of the dead feminine body' (25). James argues that Lanagan's novel highlights how 'literal or symbolic death represents one of the ways that the 'perverse' body can be removed from the sexual economy and thus work to reinforce the heterosexual norm' (p25). In Lanagan's text, this is signified through Janey, a sexually promiscuous girl with a sordid family life, who exceeds the boundaries of acceptable sexuality in adolescents and dies violently and brutally at the end of the novel. James argues that the conclusion of the text 'locates the female subject firmly within phallocentric systems of representation' through the containment of Janey's 'dangerous sexuality'. James concludes that the representation and resolution of Janey as a sexual threat fundamentally supports the underlying ideology of heterosexual romance and its demand that female sexuality remain contingent upon masculine desires (p.30).
Reading Girls' Desire in Touching Earth Lightly Kate McInally , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: CREArTA : Journal of the Centre for Research and Education in the Arts , vol. 6 no. 2006; (p. 93-102)
y separately published work icon Mother What Art Thou? : A Study of the Depiction of Mother Figures in Recent Australian and New Zealand Fiction for Teenagers Jane Siddall , Perth : 2003 18159916 2003 single work thesis

'This thesis is a study of the representations of mothers and mother figures as found in five contemporary (published between 1984 and 1999) novels for teenagers. The focus is on western constructions of motherhood, as both normalising and universalising discourses. Utilising a variety of critical approaches this thesis examines the socio-cultural issues present in the novels in conjunction with western models of maternity. This study argues the category of mother is interdependent upon the category of child. As children's literature often focuses on the development of the child, the mother figures are often read as the “unconscious” of the texts. I examine the extent to which the mother figures are given a "subject-in-processness" (Lucas, 1998, p.39) subjectivity. The texts considered are The Changeover (First published in 1984) by Margaret Mahy; Greylands (1997) by lsobelle Carmody; Speaking to Miranda (First published in 1990) by Caroline Macdonald: Touching earth lightly (1996) by Margo Lanagan and Closed, Stranger (1999) by Kate De Goldi. In part, the selection of the texts has been based upon the various and multifaceted relationships between the mothers and the children. I use the Mahy text as a means to establish selected mother and, to a lesser degree, child characteristics. Some comparisons are made with this sole text of the 19805, in order to ascertain if there has been an evolution in the articulation of mother, figures in the 1990s. This study does not adopt a survey approach nor does it claim that the five novels present all the categories of "mother". Rather it addresses categories such as, mother as nurturer, as sexual being and, importantly, the dichotomy of the “good/​bad" mother. Within western discourses of maternity, this latter category is still used as a model by which to label women who mother. This study considers the stability of this binary within the novels. This thesis relies upon close reading of the primary texts. The emphasis is on critical approaches that draw attention to contexts, with particular emphasis on the socio-cultural issues present in each particular novel. My readings suggest that there is the possibility for engagement with the texts' social content/​comment, in conjunction with the representations of western models of maternity. I draw from a variety of motherhood discourses and theoretical approaches, including amongst others, the work of Luce Irigaray, HeIene Cixous, Judith Hennan, Martha Fineman, Rose Lucas, and Robyn McCallum.'

Source: Abstract.

Untitled Sue Clancy , 1996 single work review
— Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of the Children's Book Council of Australia , November vol. 40 no. 4 1996; (p. 39)

— Review of Touching Earth Lightly Margo Lanagan , 1996 single work novel
Untitled Anne Briggs , 1996 single work review
— Appears in: Magpies : Talking About Books for Children , November vol. 11 no. 5 1996; (p. 37)

— Review of Touching Earth Lightly Margo Lanagan , 1996 single work novel
Untitled 1999 single work review
— Appears in: Fiction Focus : New Titles for Teenagers , vol. 13 no. 1 1999; (p. 30-31)

— Review of Touching Earth Lightly Margo Lanagan , 1996 single work novel
An Almost Kafkaesque World Jenny Pausacker , 1996 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 186 1996; (p. 57-58)

— Review of The Climb Libby Hathorn , 1996 single work novel ; Touching Earth Lightly Margo Lanagan , 1996 single work novel
Tackling Some Pertinent Issues Cathryn Crowe , 1996 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 2 November 1996; (p. wkd 8)

— Review of Fireflies Jonathan Harlen , 1996 single work novel ; Touching Earth Lightly Margo Lanagan , 1996 single work novel
'A Song in Search of a Voice that is Silent' : Feminist Readings of When She Hollers and Touching Earth Lightly Anna Beth McCormack , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: Papers : Explorations into Children's Literature , December vol. 12 no. 3 2002; (p. 28-34)
McCormack investigates the silence in children's literature regarding sexual abuse, particularly incest, through two novels, American writer Cynthia Voight's When She Hollers and Touching Earth Lightly by Margo Lanagan, both of which focus on what is seen as inappropriate subject matter for children and adolescents. McCormack looks at the novels thematic connection to Red Riding Hood as the archetypal fairytale, which warns that girls who don't excercise control over their sexual desire will be devoured by their own sexuality in the form of a dangerous wolf. Her feminist reading looks at how the texts differ from the original fairystory and what (if any) agency is given to female characters who transgress the boundaries of acceptable sexual behaviour. She concludes however, that both novels uphold the 'gender-based mores of a patriarchal society' whereby uncontrolled female sexuality is seen as dangerous and threatening and any 'femaleness that challenges feminine passivity is to be suppressed' (30-31).
Embodied Subjectivities : Female-authored Texts and Female Friendships Clare Bradford , 1999 single work criticism
— Appears in: Something to Crow About : New Perspectives in Literature for Young People 1999; (p. 109-117)
In this work the author concentrates on female-authored texts for young adults "...to consider their representations of female friendships; how they locate such friendships within narrative and ideological frameworks and how they construct women as gendered subjects." (Bradford, 1999, p.109)
Questions Teenagers Asked Margo Lanagan and Sonya Hartnett Annette Dale Meiklejohn (interviewer), 1998 single work interview
— Appears in: Magpies : Talking About Books for Children , May vol. 13 no. 2 1998; (p. 12-15)
Over Her Dead Body : Expelling The Monstrous-Feminine in Touching Earth Lightly Kathryn James , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Papers: Explorations into Children's Literature , May vol. 16 no. 1 2006; (p. 25-32)
Kathryn James' close analysis of Margo Lanagan's Touching Earth Lightly (1996) explores the 'sex-leading-to-death' motif and the inextricable link between death and sex/sexuality that is a pervasive part of the Western cultural imagination. James draws from the work of Foucault and Kristeva, to argue that the repression of cultural anxieties regarding death in Western societies re-emerge as an erotic pleasure which is a 'symbolic response to the uncontainable threat of mortality through the figure of the dead feminine body' (25). James argues that Lanagan's novel highlights how 'literal or symbolic death represents one of the ways that the 'perverse' body can be removed from the sexual economy and thus work to reinforce the heterosexual norm' (p25). In Lanagan's text, this is signified through Janey, a sexually promiscuous girl with a sordid family life, who exceeds the boundaries of acceptable sexuality in adolescents and dies violently and brutally at the end of the novel. James argues that the conclusion of the text 'locates the female subject firmly within phallocentric systems of representation' through the containment of Janey's 'dangerous sexuality'. James concludes that the representation and resolution of Janey as a sexual threat fundamentally supports the underlying ideology of heterosexual romance and its demand that female sexuality remain contingent upon masculine desires (p.30).
Including Them Out : Working-Class Characters in Contemporary Australian Young Adult Fiction Nadia Wheatley , 1999 single work criticism
— Appears in: Overland , Summer no. 157 1999; (p. 40-45)
Last amended 31 Oct 2019 09:37:02
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