Giselle Anatol, ed. Bringing Light to Twilight: Perspectives on a Pop Culture Phenomenon. Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming July 2011. To be reviewed by Chloe Buckley, Lancaster University.
The astounding commercial success of Stephenie Meyer’sTwilight series, not just with adolescent girls (as originally intended), but with a large and diverse audience, makes interpreting their underlying themes vital for understanding the ways that we perceive and interact with each other in contemporary society. Literary critics have interpreted vampires from Stoker’s Dracula to Rice’s Lestat in numerous ways – as symbols of deviant sexuality; as transgressive figures of sexual empowerment; as xenophobic representations of foreigners; as pop culture figures that reveal the attitudes of the masses better than any scholarly writing – and the Twilight saga is no exception. The essays in this collection use these interpretative lens and others to interrogate the meanings of Meyer’s books, making a compelling case for the cultural relevance of Twilight and providing insights on how we can “read” popular culture to our best advantage. The volume will be of interest to academic and lay readers alike: undergraduates, graduate students, and instructors of children’s and young adult literature, contemporary U.S. literature, gothic literature, and popular culture, as well as the myriad Twilight fans who seek to explore and re-explore the novels from a variety of angles.