Open at the Close: Literary Essays on Harry Potter

Univ. of Mississippi. (Children’s Literature Association). May 2022. 270p. ed. by Farr, Cecilia Konchar, ed. Tr $99. ISBN 9781496839312; pap. $25. ISBN 9781496839329.
A collection of essays centered around the iconic “Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling. With explorations on the way the series presents trauma, empathy, and sociopolitical concerns, among other topics, this work delves deeply into the literary impact of the Wizarding World as opposed to its cultural influence. Fifteen contributors from diverse background provide in-depth looks at why the series continues to fascinate so many. Although not focused on the recent cultural issues of the text, the coda by Tolonda Henderson exploring the harm perpetuated by the comments of “She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” through her increasing anti-trans statements roots this collection in contemporary awareness.
VERDICT A well-done if not completely up-to-the-minute discussion of the popular series. Read alongside Harry Potter and the Other, edited by Sarah Park Dahlen and Ebony Elizabeth Thomas.

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