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Biographical Dispatches on a Freedom Writer
Phillip Luke Sinitiere

This essay presents the idea of James Baldwin as a freedom writer, the organizing idea of my biography in progress. As a freedom writer, Baldwin was a revolutionary intellectual, an essayist and novelist committed unfailingly to the realization of racial justice, interracial political equality, and economic democracy. While the book is still in process, this short essay narrates autobiographically how I came to meet and know Baldwin’s work, explains in critical fashion my work in relation to existing biographies, and reflects interpretively my thoughts-in- progress on this fascinating and captivating figure of immense historical and social consequence.

James Baldwin Review
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James Baldwin and the Broken Silences of Black Queer Men
McKinley E Melton

James Baldwin writes within and against the testimonial tradition emerging from the Black Church, challenging the institution’s refusal to acknowledge the voices and experiences of black queer men. Baldwin’s autobiographical novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, creates a space for Baldwin’s testimony to be expressed, and also lays the foundation for a tradition of black queer artists to follow. In the contemporary moment, poet Danez Smith inhabits Baldwin’s legacy, offering continuing critiques of the rigidity of conservative Christian ideologies, while publishing and performing poetry that gives voice to their own experiences, and those of the black queer community at large. These testimonies ultimately function as a means of rhetorical resistance, which not only articulates black queer lives and identities, but affirms them.  

James Baldwin Review
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James Baldwin and the Ethics of Trauma
Mikko Tuhkanen

This essay proposes that we turn to James Baldwin’s work to assess the cost of, and think alternatives to, the cultures of traumatization whose proliferation one witnesses in contemporary U.S. academia. Beginning with some recent examples, the essay briefly places these cultures into a genealogy of onto-ethics whose contemporary forms arose with the reconfiguration of diasporic histories in the idioms of psychoanalysis and deconstructive philosophy in 1990s trauma theory. Baldwin speaks to the contemporary moment as he considers the outcome of trauma’s perpetuation in an autobiographical scene from “Notes of a Native Son.” In this scene—which restages Bigger Thomas’s murderous compulsion in Native Son—he warns us against embracing one’s traumatization as a mode of negotiating the world. In foregoing what Sarah Schulman has recently called the “duty of repair,” such traumatized engagement prevents all search for the kind of “commonness” whose early articulation can be found in Aristotle’s query after “the common good” (to koinon agathon). With Baldwin, the present essay suggests the urgency of returning to the question of “the common good”: while mindful of past critiques, which have observed in this concept’s deployment a sleight-of-hand by which hegemonic positions universalize their interests, we should work to actualize the unfinished potential of Aristotle’s idea. Baldwin’s work on diasporic modernity provides an indispensable archive for this effort.

James Baldwin Review
New writers, new literatures in the 1990s
Editors: Gill Rye and Michael Worton

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.

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Chantal Chawaf ’s melancholic autofiction
Kathryn Robson

described as ‘melancholic autofiction’, melancholic autobiographical fiction. We know from interviews and publicity notices accompanying Chawaf ’s texts that she was born during a bomb explosion in Paris in  in which her parents were killed and she was extracted from her dying mother’s womb by Caesarian section.2 Since Chawaf ’s first novel Retable/La Rêverie (), which features a melancholic orphan whose parents were killed in a bomb explosion in the Second World War, her novels have repeatedly returned to fictionalised scenes of parental death.3 This chapter deals

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
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Gender and a new politics in Achebe
Elleke Boehmer

BOEHMER Makeup 3/22/05 2:55 PM Page 54 John's G5:Users:john:Public:John's Mac: John's Jobs 3 Of goddesses and stories: gender and a new politics in Achebe The Almighty looking at his creation through the round undying eye of the Sun, saw and pondered and finally decided to send his daughter, Idemili, to bear witness to the moral nature of authority by wrapping around Power’s rude waist a loincloth of peace and modesty. (Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah)1 Although he published the autobiographical meditation Home and Exile in 2002, Chinua Achebe

in Stories of women
Literature and/or reality?
Marion Sadoux

contrast to the convoluted and complex formal structures of the texts themselves. Indicative of this tendency is the way in which Pierre Marcelle concludes his review of Sujet Angot in Libération:2 S’il y a quelque chose qui trouble, dans Sujet Angot, c’est la complexité de l’élaboration formelle au service d’une ‘histoire’ si autobiographique. Tant d’imagination au service de si peu d’imagination en quelque sorte.3 (If there is something puzzling about Sujet Angot, it is the complexity of the formal elaboration employed for such an autobiographical ‘story’. So much

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
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The male leader’s autobiography and the syntax of postcolonial nationalism
Elleke Boehmer

explaining the leader’s self-description as nationalist, the life-narrative helps to validate his position and/or status. Self-inscription becomes nationalist self-realisation: composing the discrete, monadic entity, which is conventionally the objective of autobiography, involves incrementally knitting that entity into the national collective.6 This aspect of the leader’s life-story offers a special instance of the coercive effects that are wreaked upon the autobiographical subject by autobiography, as in Paul de Man’s theory of the genre. In view of its conspicuous failure

in Stories of women
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Writing home in recent Irish memoirs and autobiographies (John McGahern’s Memoir, Hugo Hamilton’s The Speckled People, Seamus Deane’s Reading in the Dark and John Walsh’s The Falling Angels)
Stephen Regan

unpredictability and waywardness, is given shape and structure. There is a special pleasure, too, in being persuaded that the autobiographical narrative is a truthful record of events, while knowing all along that what we are reading is an elaborate, stylised fiction. Memoir similarly suggests a recollection of actual events and experiences, with an implicit trust in the faithfulness of memory being shared by author and reader. The term implies historical knowledge, an informed account of one’s own life and times, but the distinctions between autobiography and memoir are not

in Irish literature since 1990
Siobhán McIlvanney

– this chapter will focus on texts by writers who most closely conform to beur criteria, in that all three were born in France of Algerian parents. The works to be examined are Georgette! by Farida Belghoul, Beur’s story by Ferrudja Kessas and Ils disent que je suis une beurette by Soraya Nini.2 These works are all autobiographical and are written by authors of working-class origin – which would seem to be an inevitable component of this particular permutation of ‘Beurness’, in that the firstgeneration Algerian parents of these writers came to France as unskilled

in Women’s writing in contemporary France