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.
Gender and nationalism in the early fiction of Flora Nwapa
common national mother is, signiﬁcantly, one to which postindependence womenwriting from Africa and India have also paid their
respects. Buchi Emecheta, the London-based, Nigerian-origin novelist, for
example, once expressed the opinion that ‘the white female intellectual may
still have to come to the womb of Mother Africa to re-learn how to be a
woman’.6 For the Zimbabwean poet and former guerrilla ﬁghter Freedom
Nyamubaya, writing in the 1980s, to speak of the Zimbabwean nation is to
speak of the motherland. To her the concepts knit together so tightly that she
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book concerns with pain, loss or death and throws into relief a darker side to women's writing in the 1990s. The 1990s proved to be an exciting period for women's writing in France. The book shows how Christiane Baroche's use of uncertainty avoids the fixing of identities and self-other relations in a none the less realist mode of writing. It includes essays on writers whose work began to gather interest in the preceding decade but who, in the 1990s, were still in the process of becoming firmly established, like Paule Constant, Sylvie Germain, Marie Redonnet and Leila Sebbar. The book charts the ways in which contemporary women writers are themselves in the process of shaping wider literary debates.
This chapter examines the work of three beur women writers. It examines the work to establish the extent to which the highly specific socio-historical locus of the beur writer, when combined with her female subject position, may produce narrative similarities, whether formal or thematic. The works include Georgette! by Farida Belghoul, Beur's story by Ferrudja Kessas and Ils disent que je suis une beurette by Soraya Nini. By their focus on the education system, all three texts point up the pivotal role played by the socialisation process and formation of identity in beur women's writing. Beur literature only began to enjoy commercial success in the early 1980s, when a substantial number of the children of North African immigrants first reached adulthood. The designation beur is considered an example of verlan, a form of French slang involving the inversion of syllables.
From her very first novel, Vu du ciel, which was published in 1990, Christine Angot has established herself firmly as a writer who has made it her mission to explore and expose relentlessly the thin line between reality and fiction. The last quarter of the twentieth century, in French literature, will probably be remembered, among other things, as the period in which a new genre, that of autofiction, emerged and flourished. Many literary theorists have long claimed that the meeting point between fiction and autobiography, which so strongly shapes contemporary self-representational aesthetics, is a fundamental area of women's writing. Both the fantastic and autofiction function as border or frontier genres which borrow elements from other related genres, and autofictions are not necessarily limited to borrowings from autobiography. Autofictions are also potentially subversive in a similar way to fantastic literature, as Rosemary Jackson identifies.
This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the concepts discussed in this book. The book focuses on various aspects of the subject and identity as they are conceived and represented in contemporary women's writing in France. Fears and fantasies are material reality in Marie Darrieussecq's novels of women in crisis, in the literalisation of metaphors pertaining to women's bodies, in the undercurrents of presence and absence, and in the void at the heart of emotional relationships. A recurrent theme in Clotilde Escalle's novels is the difficult relationships her female protagonists have with their mothers, and it is striking how frequently variations on the mother-daughter theme. The modern trend for self-referentiality in literature means that the writing self is also clearly manifested and, indeed, foregrounded in the work of a significant number of the contemporary French women writers.
In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.
, 1750–1830 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2010); Copeland, Womenwriting about money ; and Cheryl Turner, Living by the pen: women writers in the eighteenth century (1992; London and New York: Routledge, 1994).
See Bannet, ‘Charles Brockden Brown and England’, and Homestead and Hansen, ‘Susannah Rowson's transatlantic career’.
-course from now on, their life span is
endowed with clarity and certainty: aging alone and dying alone.
The tyranny of age
The data analysis thus far demonstrates the power of familial, heteronormative, ageist,
and sexist norms in construing the category of the “aging single woman.” However,
some of the single womenwriting for Ynet do not conform to these hegemonic discourses, instead challenging them in various ways. One apt example is a text written
by Rotem, one of the columnists mentioned above, who defines herself as “a thirtysomething content single woman” (Lior 2006
Where postcolonialism is neo-orientalist – the cases of Sarojini Naidu and Arundhati Roy
Page 169 John's G5:Users:john:Public:John's Mac: John's Job
Sarojini Naidu and Arundhati Roy
9 See also, for example, Susie Tharu and K. Lalita (eds), WomenWriting in India: 600
B.C. to the Present, vol. 1 (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1991), pp. 329–40.
10 Arthur Symons, ‘Introduction’, The Golden Threshold, by Sarojini Naidu, pp. 9–10,
11 Here I follow Arif Dirlik’s deﬁnition: ‘North connotes the pathways of transnational
capitalism, and South, the marginalized populations of the world, regardless of their