The 1990s witnessed an explosion in women's writing in France, with a particularly exciting new generation of writer's coming to the fore, such as Christine Angot, Marie Darrieussecq and Regine Detambel. This book introduces an analysis of new women's writing in contemporary France, including both new writers of the 1990s and their more established counter-parts. The 1990s was an exciting period for women's writing in France. The novels of Louise Lambrichs are brilliant but troubling psychological dramas focusing on the traumas that inhabit the family romance: incest, sterility, the death those we love and the terrible legacy of mourning. The body of writing produced by Marie Redonnet between 1985 and 2000 is an unusually coherent one. The book explores the possibility of writing 'de la mélancolie' through focusing on the work of Chantal Chawaf, whose writing may be described as 'melancholic autofiction', melancholic autobiographical fiction. It places Confidence pour confidence within Constant's oeuvre as a whole, and argues for a more positive reading of the novel, a reading that throws light on the trajectory of mother-daughter relations in her fiction. Christiane Baroche was acclaimed in France first as a short-story writer. Unable to experience the freedom of their brothers and fathers, beur female protagonists are shown to experience it vicariously through the reading, and the writing of, narratives. Clotilde Escalle's private worlds of sex and violence, whose transgressions are part of real lives, shock precisely because they are brought into the public sphere, expressed in and through writing.
determined by our precise socio-cultural and historical contexts.1 The body is one of the most important objects of representation for writers, as is witnessed by Régine Detambel’s experiments
with textual dissection or by ClotildeEscalle’s insistent detailing of the
movement of hands or the droolings of an ageing mouth.
The body is also an object of negotiation (between society and the
individual, between men and women, between parents and children) – and
a central locus of that negotiation. This is particularly true of women’s
bodies, which are more publicly shared and
Unnatural women and uncomfortable
readers? ClotildeEscalle’s tales of
Described by critics variously as one of the ‘new barbarians’ of French
writing,1 as one of the cruel ‘Barbarellas’ who seek only to depict the disarray of contemporary French society,2 and as one of the new breed of
women writers who hold a violent and deep-seated grudge against the gaze
of men,3 ClotildeEscalle is remarkable among new writers for the dispassionate way in which she presents violent sexual and familial dramas.
Escalle was born in in Fez
providing the ﬁrst sustained critical evaluations of lesser-known writers
like ClotildeEscalle and Louise L. Lambrichs. The volume also includes
essays on writers whose work began to gather interest in the preceding
decade but who, in the s, were still in the process of becoming ﬁrmly
established, like Paule Constant, Sylvie Germain, Marie Redonnet and
In her inﬂuential book on s and s French women’s writing,
one of Elizabeth Fallaize’s stated aims is to make the texts she translates in
her volume available to anglophone readers and ‘recognised