Joyce Maynard Suzanne Freeman - Essay

Suzanne Freeman

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The issues in Baby Love—babies, love, sex, youth, music and television—have always been Maynard's favorite subjects, but it is here in this shift to the novel form that she finally deals with them best. Fiction has taken away both the cutesiness and preachiness that a young memoir-writer is liable to. Gone, as well, is the kind of misspent world-weariness that would prompt a 19-year-old to talk about "growing up old." Nothing about Maynard is weary here. It's a new world and her writing takes on a new energy. For the first time, she is free to fill her work with people of her own invention. And fill it she does.

At best count, there are 17 major characters in this book. (p. 3)

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(The entire section is 501 words.)