Chapter 8 Adolescence as Battleground for Identity Formation: Martin Millar’s Wolf Girl Novels

In: The Pathogenesis of Fear
Kimberley McMahon-Coleman
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Martin Millar’s trilogy Lonely Werewolf Girl (2007), The Curse of the Wolf Girl (2010) and The Anxiety of Kalix the Werewolf (2013) focuses on the life of an adolescent Scottish werewolf, attempting to live and study in London but continually being drawn back into the patriarchal politics of her society and family. Kalix’s life is one marked by her own difference: addiction, aggression, and violence. In the family’s castle in Scotland, Kalix was the youngest of the Thane’s children by a large margin, and one of the few werewolves ever to have been born on the night of the full moon in her werewolf shape. In contemporary London, she struggles to emulate normality as she moves in with human friends and attends a remedial college while staving off werewolf hunters and murderous relatives. Kalix exhibits all the signs of an addictive personality, with her monstrous hungers and desires extending to a torrid love affair at the age of 14; well-established eating disorders and experimentation with alcohol while still in her mid-teens; and anxiety, depression, self-harm, addiction to laudanum, murderous rages and exile by the age of 17. Throughout the novels various members of her family muse that these excesses in personality must be related to the unusual circumstances of her birth. Kalix’s difference, then, is marked as congenital or a birth defect: the very way that the term ‘teratology’—or the study of monsters—was used historically. This chapter examines the ways in which Kalix’s lycanthropic monstrous hungers are depicted as a kind of birth injury with which she must live, and her attempts to create some agency within her own life.

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