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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Blasons d’un corps masculin, L’Ecrivaillon and La Ligne âpre by Régine Detambel

 -  Anatomical writing: Blasons d’un corps masculin, L’Ecrivaillon and La Ligne âpre by Régine Detambel ‘Régine Detambel is a monster’ claimed the September  issue of the French magazine Marie-Claire, referring to her prolific output, which includes over  novels (over , including her books for children) by the age of .1 The excess implied by this label is, however, modified in the same article where her ‘monstrosity’ gives way to descriptions of the writer of ‘the world of childhood sensations’, the perfectionist religiously tending to

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
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Literary satire and Oskar Panizza’s Psichopatia criminalis (1898)

3 ‘Writing back’: literary satire and Oskar Panizza’s Psichopatia criminalis (1898) Birgit Lang Oskar Panizza’s Psichopatia criminalis (1898) constitutes the most biting parody of the psychiatric case study genre in German literature, and has been praised as a subversive work in the broader context of the ­anti-psychiatry movement of the 1960s and 1970s.1 As a former psy­ chiatrist who had been designated for priesthood and later prosecuted in court for blasphemy, Panizza (1853–1921) had intimate knowledge of ‘the three great professions of the Western

in A history of the case study

Rather than write a classic biography of James Baldwin in the last cycle of his life—from his arrival in 1970 as a black stranger in the all-white medieval village of Saint-Paul, until his death there in 1987—I sought to discover the author through the eyes of people who knew him in this period. With this optic, I sought a wide variety of people who were in some way part of his life there: friends, lovers, barmen, writers, artists, taxi drivers, his doctors and others who retained memories of their encounters with Baldwin on all levels. Besides the many locals, contact was made with a number of Baldwin’s further afield cultural figures including Maya Angelou, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Angela Davis, Bill Wyman, and others. There were more than seventy interviews in person in places as distant as Paris, New York or Istanbul and by telephone spread over four years during the preparatory research and writing of the manuscript. Many of the recollections centred on “at home with Jimmy” or dining at his “Welcome Table.”

James Baldwin Review
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     Introduction The s proved to be an exciting period for women’s writing in France. It was a decade in which publishers and the media celebrated a ‘new generation’ of writers, and writing produced by women assumed its place at the forefront of what is new – and sometimes controversial – on the French literary scene. Paperback publishers J’ai lu and Pocket both launched new series (Nouvelle génération and Nouvelles voix respectively) devoted to new names, among them many new women authors. Thus, a wide-ranging readership was

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
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Chantal Chawaf ’s melancholic autofiction

   The female vampire: Chantal Chawaf ’s melancholic autofiction Julia Kristeva opens her text, Soleil noir: dépression et mélancolie, with the claim that ‘Ecrire sur la mélancolie n’aurait de sens, pour ceux que la mélancolie ravage, que si l’écrit même venait de la mélancolie’ (‘For those who are racked by melancholia, writing about it would have meaning only if writing sprang out of that very melancholia’).1 This chapter explores the possibility of writing ‘de la mélancolie’ through focusing on the work of Chantal Chawaf, whose writing may be

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
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     Conclusion One of the major features of this book is its focus on various aspects of the subject and identity as they are conceived and represented in contemporary women’s writing in France. The contributors to this volume have overwhelmingly read the works of our chosen writers as tales of, quests for, explorations of, and crises in the self. It should be noted that this self is actually plural and that the selves in question are not necessarily those of the writers (either within or outside the text). Rather, as fictions, they

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
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Sibylle Lacan’s Un père: puzzle

   Puzzling out the fathers: Sibylle Lacan’s Un père: puzzle Sibylle Lacan’s text Un père, published in , bears the subtitle ‘puzzle’, a term which the author describes as referring primarily to the fragmented nature of her writing.1 However, it applies equally well to the subject of her text: the question of what kind of father Jacques Lacan represented for her is a puzzle wrestled with throughout the text. Behind this puzzle lies another. Is her text also primarily a testimony to her father’s intellectual legacy? In taking up her pen, is

in Women’s writing in contemporary France

’s writing, this chapter does not wish to play down the variety and hybridity of beur narratives in a quasi-colonialist drive for uniformity and categorisation. Indeed, the very recentness of the emergence of this writing makes any Beur female identity  endeavour to characterise its expression of identity politics tentative. Given the diversity of the writers who are conventionally grouped under the umbrella term beur – some writers classed as beur were born in North Africa then came to France, others were born in France of, say, a French mother and Algerian father

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
Literature and/or reality?

   Christine Angot’s autofictions: literature and/or reality? From her very first novel,Vu du ciel,which was published in ,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.1 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. It has become a privileged mode of writing for many writers who have

in Women’s writing in contemporary France