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Collins, Suzanne

Entry updated 11 March 2024. Tagged: Author.

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(1962-    ) US screenwriter for Television and author whose first series – the Young Adult Underland Chronicles beginning with Gregor the Overlander (2003; vt Gregor and the Rats of Underland 2006) and ending with Gregor and the Code of the Claw (2007) – sets its young protagonist on a quest for his sister down a rabbit-hole-like Portal into an Underground world beneath New York, an Urban Fantasy domain that operates on Wonderland principles and is populated by Beast Fable figures [for Portal, Urban Fantasy, Wonderland, Beast Fable and Good and Evil (referred to below) see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below], where he grows into a genuine Hero who must confront the threat that the escalating conflicts in Underland may explode into a global War. As the series continues, an Equipoisal darkening of the scene transforms the sequence as a whole, increasingly, into a tale of the new century.

The sequence for which Collins has become best known – The Hunger Games series comprising The Hunger Games (2008), Catching Fire (2009) and Mockingjay (2010) – can be understood as a thematic development of the earlier books, where a traditional fantasy drama between Good and Evil is translated into a (recently) traditional Young Adult sf narrative that dramatizes the conflict between Dystopia and the adolescents in its grip. Remarkably sharp and deep and melancholy, The Hunger Games is set in the Ruined Earth land Panem, once called America and now harrowed by Climate Change. Panem is divided into twelve districts, each of which is required annually to send two dozen young "tributes" to the savage Labyrinth-like "preserve", where the game (see Games and Sports) will be played, a Television reality show in which the victor is the one to survive the ordeal; the links to the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur are explicit, though the gladiatorial nature of the game itself seems meant to evoke Spartacus (109-71 BCE). The young protagonist's victory in the first volume and costly escape from bondage in the second lead to a climax in which, very tentatively, a revolution against the tyranny may have some chance of succeeding.

The first two volumes of the trilogy have been filmed as The Hunger Games (2012) and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013). [JC]

Suzanne Collins

born Hartford, Connecticut: 10 August 1962



Underland Chronicles

The Hunger Games

  • The Hunger Games (New York: Scholastic Press, 2008) [The Hunger Games: hb/Tim O'Brien]
  • Catching Fire (New York: Scholastic Press, 2009) [The Hunger Games: hb/Tim O'Brien]
  • Mockingjay (New York: Scholastic Press, 2010) [The Hunger Games: hb/Tim O'Brien]
  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (New York: Scholastic Press, 2020) [prequel to the above three: The Hunger Games: hb/Tim O'Brien]

about the author


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