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Mirror Talk Genres of Crisis in Contemporary Autobiography (Paperback)

Author:  Susanna Egan
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Learn more about Mirror Talk:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0807847828
ISBN-13: 9780807847824
Sku: 30514321
Publish Date: 4/10/2007
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 9.5H x 6.75L x 1T
Pages:  296
Age Range:  NA
See more in Literary
 
Focusing on crisis as revealed in autobiographical works, Susanna Egan shows how the individual ''s experience sets in motion a separation of the self into objective and subjective entities that become the basis of the narrative.
From the Publisher:
Traditional autobiography tends to originate in some form of crisis and to develop some form of resolution. In contrast, much contemporary autobiography deals with unresolved crises and cannot even assume authoritative, first-person narration. Susanna Egan finds such autobiographies dialogic in form, involving the reader in generic experimentation in their pursuit of shifting, uncertain meanings. After tracing the literary experimentation of contemporary genres to the inventiveness of modernism, she explores the generic contributions of drama, film, quilting, comics, and blended literary forms to changing genres of autobiography. Egan identifies lived crises -- such as diaspora, genocide, and terminal illness -- as the forces behind generic experimentation, suggesting dynamic intersections between trauma and cultural expression.Traditional autobiography tends to originate in some form of crisis and to develop some form of resolution. In contrast, much contemporary autobiography deals with unresolved crises and cannot even assume authoritative, first-person narration. Susanna Egan finds such autobiographies dialogic in form, involving the reader in generic experimentation in their pursuit of shifting, uncertain meanings. After tracing the literary experimentation of contemporary genres to the inventiveness of modernism, she explores the generic contributions of drama, film, quilting, comics, and blended literary forms to changing genres of autobiography. Egan identifies lived crises?such as diaspora, genocide, and terminal illness?as the forces behind generic experimentation, suggesting dynamic intersections between trauma and cultural expression.

Mirror Talk examines work by a wide range of autobiographers, including Primo Levi, Maxine Hong Kingston, Audre Lorde, Michael Ondaatje, Tom Joslin, Clark Blaise and Bharati Mukherjee, Sandra Butler and Barbara Rosenblum, Breyten Breytenbach, Linda Griffiths and Maria Campbell, Ernest Hemingway, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Mary Meigs, Dennis Potter, and Trinh T. Minh-ha.

Annotation:
In this scholarly study, the author examines the multitude of ways people narrate their own life stories, from ethnographies to comics to memoirs. She examines the ways modern autobiography has been affected by a self-consciousness about the ways truth-telling and storytelling often seem to be at odds with one another.

Praise

London Review of Books
"Given her ambitions, it is not surprising that the quality of insight and argument varies. But her eclecticism is courageous, her specific analyses and elucidations vigorous and vivid, and her theoretical discussions clear. Unlike so many of her colleagues, Egan never mumbles." - Inga Clendinnen 03/16/2000

Product Attributes

Product attributeBook Format:   Paperback
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0296
Product attributePublisher:   University of North Carolina Press
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