Young Adult Page

Feminist background reading

Female coming of age stories


The traditional studies of human development and of adolescent psychology have been based almost exclusively on white, male, European models. The brief sampling provided below of male coming-of-age stories, therefore, concentrates on young men in a variety of cultural contexts. The longer list of female coming of age stories also includes many cultures, and there are suggestions for feminist background reading presenting alternative views of human experience. The male coming-of-age story might be explored by reading some of the "male identity crisis" literature. See, for example, the New York Times Book Review, January 9, 1994, pp. 3 and 24.


Alicea, Gil C. and Carmine De Sena. The Air Down Here: True Tales from a South Bronx Boyhood. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 1995.

Baldwin, James. Go Tell It on the Mountain. New York: Knopf, 1953.

Banks, Russell. Rule of the Bone. New York: HarperCollins, 1995.

Crocker, Carter. The Tale of the Swamp Rat . New York : Philomel Books, 2003.

DeMarinis, Rick. The Mortician's Apprentice.New York: Norton, 1994.

Doyle, Roddy. Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. New York: Viking, 1993.

Duncan, David James. The Brothers K. New York: Bantam, 1993.

Faust, Minister. The Coyote Kings of the Space-age Bachelor Pad. New York : Del Rey/Ballantine Books, 2004.

Foon, Dennis. The Dirt Eaters. Toronto ; New York : Annick Press ; Buffalo , NY : Distributed in the U.S.A. by Firefly Books (U.S.), 2003.

Forman, James. My Enemy, My Brother. New York: Scholastic Press, 1970.

Gakarza, Ernesto. Barrio Boy.New York: Ballantine, 1972.

Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. Colored People. New York: Knopf, 1994.

Grimsley, Jim. Dream Boy. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin, 1995.

Grossman, David. The Book of Intimate Grammar. Trans. from the Hebrew by Betty Rosenberg. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1994.

Hartinger, Brent. Geography Club. New York : Harper Tempest, 2003.

An Indian Boy's Story. [Daniel La France]

Joravsky, Ben. Hoop Dreams: A True Story of Hardship and Triumph. New York: HarperCollins, 1995.

Lyon, George Ella. Sonny's House of Spies. New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2004.

McCourt, Frank. Angela's Ashes: A Memoir. New York: Scribner, 1996.

Mathabane, Mark. Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth's Coming of Age in Apatheid South Africa. New York: Macmillan, 1986.

Mattera, Don. Sophiatown: Coming of Age in South Africa. Boston, MA: Beacon, 1989.

Mehta, Ved. Daddyji. New York: Norton, 1989.

Mosley, Walter. Gone Fishin': An Easy Rawlins Novel. Baltimore, MD: Black Classics Press, 1997.

Myers, Anna. Tulsa Burning. New York : Walker , 2002.

Ramusi, Molaptene Collins. Soweto, My Love. New York: Holt, 1989.

Read, Kirk. How I Learned to Snap: A Small-Town Coming-Out and Coming-Of-Age Story . New York : Penguin Books; Reissue edition (June 1, 2003)

Rodriguez, Richard. Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez. New York: Bantam, 1983.

Ryan, Michael. Secret Life: An Autobiography. New York: Vintage Books, 1995.

Sanchez, Alex. Rainbow Boys. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2001.

Santiago, Danny. Famous All Over Town. New York: New American Library, 1984.

Shehadeh, Raja. Strangers in the House: Coming of Age in Occupied Palestine . South Royalton , Vt. : Steerforth Press, 2002.

Shusterman, Neal. Dissidents. Boston, MA: Little Brown, 1989.

Soto, Gary. Living Up the Street: Narrative Reflections. San Francisco, CA: Strawberry Hill Press, 1985.

Standing Bear, Luther. My Indian Boyhood. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1931 [reprinted Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1988].

Unger, Douglas. El Yanqui. New York: Ballantine, 1988.

Wain, John. The Free Zone Starts Here. New York: Delacorte, 1984.

Watkins, Paul. Night Over Day Over Night. New York: Knopf, 1988.

Wilkomirski, Binjamin. Fragments: Memories of a Wartime Childhood. Translated by Carol Brown Janeway. New York: Schocken Books, 1997.

Wolff, Tobias. This Boy's Life: A Memoir. New York: Harper, 1989.

Wright, Richard. Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth. New York: Harper, 1945.


Created September 25, 1995
SCILS, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey