One of the most fascinating deconstruction books I've ever read was something I picked up purely by accident. I had heard through the literary grapevine in college that author Bobbie Ann Mason was well worth checking out, and I purchased "The Girl Sleuth" without any research whatsoever, assuming it was a fictional novel. Instead, I received an incredibly insightful deconstruction into the series books of my childhood -- the Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, and many more I hadn't even heard of, like Cherry Ames -- that examined the books from a feminist perspective and attempted to really drill down to the core of these series to see the underlying values and societal assumptions that served as a foundation for these books.
Not everything I read in "The Girl Sleuth", of course, pleased me: I hadn't realized that the original Bobbsey twins were written with a very strong racist bias, nor had I really parsed as a young girl the societal divide in the Nancy Drew series, where poor-and-slovenly was shorthand for 'evil' whereas poor-and-tidy was the obvious indication of a good soul cast on hard times. But everything I read in Mason's deconstruction fascinated me as she waxed nostalgic for her childhood favorites while still carefully and intelligently shining a light on the fascinating flaws inherent to each. More than any other deconstruction, I think Mason's showed me that it was possible to love a series while still hating the flaws, as it were.
Mason's book is still in circulation -- you can buy a 'new' copy from 1995 for almost $17 US dollars today -- but I was shocked to realize that it hasn't yet been migrated into eBook form. (This was especially distressing since I've quoted a huge block of her book in an upcoming deconstruction post!) I am therefore both recommending this exceedingly good book to you fair readers as well as urging you to poke the publisher (via Amazon, since it seems B&N has dropped the Poke the Publisher feature -- a decision that I have carefully determined to take personally).
Amazon link here.
Also remember: By poking the publisher, you are not indicating that YOU are waiting to buy this book in e-Book format, but rather that your dear friend Ana is waiting to buy this book in e-Book format to review, dissect, deconstruct, and otherwise desecrate for your reading pleasure. And buy it I shall, just as soon as it comes available in the U.S. of A., presuming, of course, that I haven't disappeared permanently into Narnia before then.
Credit for last week's Poke the Publisher feature must go to Matt Smyczynski, Brin Bellway, Amaryllis, Cupcakedoll, Charleen Merced, Kristy Griffin, Gela, Dav, and sarah. Each one of these delightful people can cook gourmet meals in only ten minutes with their hands tied behind their backs and using only a slightly bent spatula and the absolute power of their minds.