(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Fran Arrick

(Pseudonym of unidentified author) American novelist.

Arrick writes "problem novels" that focus on issues of particular concern to young adults. Arrick's protagonists are often faced with pressure from family and peers as they seek to establish their own identity. Their responses to these pressures reflect some of the more extreme measures undertaken by today's youth. For example, in Steffie Can't Come Out to Play (1978), Steffie runs away from her small-town family life in order to become a model in New York. She is victimized by a smooth-talking, well-dressed pimp who takes advantage of her naiveté and her desire for expensive clothes and leads her into prostitution. Tunnel Vision (1980) is the story of a young person's suicide. Chernowitz! (1981) depicts a Jewish boy who is harassed because of his ethnic background. In God's Radar (1983), Arrick portrays a fundamentalist Christian community in which pressure to conform to moral standards serves to control personality. Most critics agree that Arrick's books can promote discussion of difficult subjects that are relevant to young adults.