Beyond Boundaries

Life Writing through Texts and Images – Picture books by Celebrities


  • Lena Hoffmann Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main



Celebrity Studies, Life Writing, picture books, collective memory


In the last 15 to 20 years a lot of celebrities have published novels and or picture books for children and adolescents. This article will contextualise this international phenomenon within a theoretical framework of celebrity studies and research on life writing and intermediality. As will be shown, these literary texts for young people by celebrities represent an intermedial life writing that combines texts, illustrations, photographs and forms of online and offline self-curating as well. It is especially the picture book that seems to carry an archival function with respect to the authors’ lives. Here, the celebrities tell about themselves in words and images, they stage themselves as private and authentic persons. Understanding children’s and adolescents’ literature as part of intergenerational communication, these literary texts show different kinds of strategies to prolong the knowledge of a public person in societies’ collective memories.

Author Biography

Lena Hoffmann, Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main

Dr. Lena Hoffmann is a postdoc researcher at the Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Department for Children’s and Young Adult Literature Research. She holds a PhD from the University of Münster, Germany. In her thesis she analysed the phenomenon of crossover literature from the late 19th century until the present. Her postdoc project focuses on the interconnections of celebrity culture, children’s literature and authorship.





Beyond Boundaries