The significance of gender and sexuality in Coming of Age experiences in Okechukwu Nzelu’s The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney and A.S Byatt’s Still Life


  • Lizzie Pye


As the female protagonists of The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney by Okechukwu Nzelu and Still Life by A.S Byatt have many differences, such as race, family dynamic, and the contexts of their contemporary societies, this article, which is mainly focused on gender and sexuality, examines the extent to which there is a difference between their ‘coming-of-age’ processes. Nnenna Maloney is a 17-year-old attempting to figure out a multitude of things about herself, whereas Frederica Potter is trying to navigate the world of Cambridge University. This article is an exploration of the two characters’ coming of age experiences as women and in terms of exploring their sexuality, in order to determine if there are constants in those experiences, which are not affected by growing up in particular circumstances.