Textual instability around gendered and sexual violence in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight and Midnight Sun texts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight alongside the partial, leaked PDF and authorized book of Midnight Sun using textual studies approaches to analyzing multiple versions of a text. These methods are coupled with feminist media effects theory to consider the significance of textual variants in Meyer’s representations of sexual and gendered violence in teenage romantic relationships. The international notoriety of Twilight has afforded her the opportunity to respond to commentary, critiques, and adulation from readers, fans, critics, and film adaptations, as well as to react to evolving feminist zeitgeists. Her multiple, publicly available rewritings of the same story could be viewed as one such response. These include Life and Death (2015), the Midnight Sun PDF (2008) and book (2020), in addition to spin-offs like The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (2010). This analysis across retellings of the Twilight story considers variations in representations of what many critics have articulated as the male protagonist Edward’s abusive attitudes and behaviours toward the female protagonist Bella. It elucidates change and continuity in these representations and identifies a trajectory of increasingly misogynistic attitudes and behaviours expressed by Edward’s character. The article concludes that the availability of multiple versions of the story offers readers, fans, and educators an unusual opportunity to understand Edward as a literary construct and to engage further with representations of abuse in relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-220
Number of pages25
Journal Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • gender
  • vampires
  • violence
  • sexual violence
  • Twilight
  • Midnight Sun
  • Stephanie Meyer


Dive into the research topics of 'Textual instability around gendered and sexual violence in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight and Midnight Sun texts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this