How the Reader Matters. Autobiographies of Childhood for Young Readers

  • Helma Van Lierop Tilburg University
Keywords: autobiographies of childhood, children’s and young adult literature, imagining childhood


In the 1990s, autobiographies of childhood were one of the most important
publishing trends. These autobiographies challenge the Romantic notion
of childhood, thus contributing to the contemporary societal debate about
children and childhood in crisis. Taking into consideration that ideas about
children and childhood are at the heart of children’s literature, it is remarkable that autobiographies of childhood for young readers go unnoticed in the discussion.

Author Biography

Helma Van Lierop, Tilburg University

Helma van Lierop-Debrauwer is Professor of Children’s Literature at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. She is the coordinator of the Children’s and Adolescent Literature Master’s program at this university. She is a member of the editorial board of Literatuur zonder leeftijd, the only academic journal on children’s literature in the Netherlands. Her research interests are adolescent literature, life writing and the relationship between children’s literature and age studies.