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.
Lost and found: mother–daughter relations in Paule Constant’s ﬁction In Paule Constant won the Prix Goncourt for her seventh novel Conﬁdence pour conﬁdence to much controversy. Her novels had been shortlisted for the Goncourt several times before, and she had gained many other literary prizes. However, press coverage was generally of the opinion that, although the most prestigious French literary prize was long overdue to her, Conﬁdence pour conﬁdence itself was not especially deserving of that glory. The controversial reception aﬀorded this
–daughter relationship is important, inﬂuential – and also charged with emotion, with ambivalence, with the sorrow of loss, or, more rarely in literature, with pleasure. Angot as an example of the latter may surprise, but she is one of the few writers here (along with Louise Lambrichs) who treat the theme from the perspective of the mother.2 The prevalence of problematic mother–daughter relations does not simply point to – or reinforce – the blaming of mothers for the state in which the daughters ﬁnd themselves. Rather, it acknowledges that for both mothers and daughters, the