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.
Textual mirrors and uncertain reﬂections: gender and narrative in L’Hiver de beauté, Les Ports du silence and La Rage au bois dormant by Christiane Baroche Un roman est un miroir qui se promène sur une grande route. (Stendhal) (A novel is a mirror travelling along a highway.) L’écriture est la possibilité même du changement, l’espace d’où peut s’élancer une pensée subversive, le mouvement avant-coureur d’une transformation des structures sociales et culturelles. (Cixous) (Writing is precisely the very possibility of change, the space that can serve as
travelling to the East to explore political and economic alternatives to the American and Soviet models and reconsidering European culture and practices in the light of these discoveries, as with Kristeva’s Des chinoises (Of Chinese Women) (), or Roland Barthes’s L’Empire des signes (The Empire of Signs) (), in which he presents a highly subjective and partial construct of Japan. This new Orientalism Introduction became more and more bound up with questions of individual and collective identity and enabled such recent ﬁctional expressions as Christiane Baroche’s
relationship is formative – a key player in women’s sense of self, even if, as Christiane Baroche seems to suggest, alternative maternal relationships Conclusion (with ‘surrogate’ mothers) may supplement it. For their part, Marie Redonnet’s motherless characters attempt, with varying degrees of success, to create memory texts in their quest for the grounding and selfrepresentation they lack. Sebbar’s Shérazade reconnects with her mother through identiﬁcation with a book of photographs of Algerian women, and as such is able to begin to assume an identity of her own