Bildungsroman

Definition: Noun. Literally, formation novel. A novel that focuses on an individual’s coming-of-age. The classic example is J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye.

Pronunciation: BILL-dungs-row-man

Etymology: From the German Bild (meaning “picture or image”) and roman (meaning “novel”).

For further reading: Roget’s Thesaurus of Words for Intellectuals by David Olsen, Michelle Bevilacqua, and Justin Hayes, Adams Media (2011) and OED.

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