- A novel dealing with one person’s formative years or spiritual education.
“She had an entire shelf in her home library devoted to the Bildungsroman.”
“The Bildungsroman told the story of the doctor’s journey from a one-room schoolhouse to graduating from medical school.”
“My favorite genre to read is fantasy, but it’s even better if it’s a Bildungsroman.”
German, early 20th century
Why this word?
“Emma” by Jane Austen, “David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens, “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Huston, and “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee — all are excellent examples of a classic Bildungsroman. And so are “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky, “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini, and “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins. Any story that concerns the moral, educational, and philosophical development of a young person falls into this genre of literature. The word comes from German, in which “Bildung” means “education” and “Roman” means “a novel.”
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