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Ageing and Childhood: Dementia in Chinese-Language Picturebooks

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-21, 01:37 authored by Sue ChenSue Chen
Although the number of people with dementia has been increasing rapidly in the Chinese-speaking world, there are relatively few Chinese children’s books published on the topic. This article analyses two Chinese-language picturebooks that approach the representation of dementia in contrasting ways. Azihaimo xiansheng [ Mr Alzheimer] (2017) by Chen Yihui and Xue Huiying downplays the threat of the disease by anthropomorphising it as a friendly man while Zhanxin de yitian [ A New Day] (2017) by Guo Yu and Lianggen creates a surrealist nightmarish vision of what a person with dementia feels like daily. The article argues that, although the former book romanticises dementia while the latter presents it as a terrifying condition, both texts infantilise the person with dementia, thus reinforcing ageist tropes.

History

Journal

International Research in Children's Literature

Volume

16

Pagination

30-43

ISSN

1755-6198

eISSN

1755-6201

Language

en

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

1

Publisher

Edinburgh University Press