Our 10 Favorite Manic Pixie Dream Girls in Literature

Oh, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. She just won’t go away, will she? The romantic dramedy Seeking a Friend for the End of the World opens in theaters tomorrow, and it seems to be only the newest incarnation of an age-old cinematic trend of young, whimsical women redeeming somewhat depressed and uncertain men with their quirky wiles. But though you know her as Zooey Deschanel, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl is also a literary figure, identified by her charming left-of-center personality, her pronounced (and sometimes left-of-center) beauty, and her function as a usually rather flat character who serves to lead the male protagonist into self-discovery before disappearing (or dying). Click through to read about a few of our favorites, and then look at this Manic Pixie Dream Squirrel for extra credit.

Midori Kobayashi, Norwegian Wood

Haruki Murakami’s novels are filled with Manic Pixie Dream Girls — but to be fair, they’re pretty much filled with Manic Pixie Dream everything, from wells to cats to entire worlds. The most blatant character who fits the mold, however, is Midori, an outgoing and vivacious friend of Toru who distracts him from his emotionally fragile girlfriend with her confidence and sexuality.

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Rose Amour
Rose Amour

I think there's a problem with labeling John Green as a MPDG writer. He's addressed this issue many times, and so I think he's more qualified to tell you this than I. But in LfA, one of the main goals/plots is shattering the illusion of Manic Pixie Dream Girl. The whole second part is Pudge realizing that he oversimplified Alaska and made her into this MPDG person, even if she was so much more complex than that. It's about Miles re-examining who Alaska really was, as a human being, rather than the "manic pixie dream girl" he originally thought her to be. Most of the time, I wonder if the critics of his "MPDG" books have actually read them, rather than the summaries, because as from what I can see, the second half of LfA is about that whole illusion of manic pixie dream girl being shattered.


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