Narratives of Mothering: Women's Writing in Contemporary France

University of Delaware Press
Free sample

Narratives of Mothering: Women's Writing in Contemporary France engages with an important new trend in contemporary women-authored literature, namely, a turn to narratives of mothering from the perspective of mothers themselves. Although there have been some instances of this in the past, mothers in French literature have, on the whole, tended to be objects of others' discourses rather than narrative subjects in their own right. However, since the beginning of the 1990s, mothers' own voices have come to the fore in a new body of literature, comprising authors such as Christine Angot, Genevieve Brisac, Marie Darrieussecq, Camille Laurens, and Marie Ndiaye, among many others.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Delaware Press
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Published on
Dec 31, 2009
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Pages
221
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ISBN
9780874130409
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / European / French
Literary Criticism / European / General
Literary Criticism / Women Authors
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This content is DRM protected.
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Motherhood remains a complex and contested issue in feminist research as well as public discussion. This interdisciplinary volume explores cultural representations of motherhood in various contemporary European contexts, including France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and the UK, and it considers how such representations affect the ways in which different individuals and groups negotiate motherhood as both institution and lived experience. It has a particular focus on literature, but it also includes essays that examine representations of motherhood in philosophy, art, social policy, and film. The book’s driving contention is that, through intersecting with other fields and disciplines, literature and the study of literature have an important role to play in nuancing dialogues around motherhood, by offering challenging insights and imaginative responses to complex problems and experiences. This is demonstrated throughout the volume, which covers a range of topics including: discursive and visual depictions of pregnancy and birth; the impact of new reproductive technologies on changing family configurations; the relationship between mothering and citizenship; the shaping of policy imperatives regarding mothering and disability; and the difficult realities of miscarriage, child death, violence, and infanticide. The collection expands and complicates hegemonic notions of motherhood, as the authors map and analyse shifting conceptions of maternal subjectivity and embodiment, explore some of the constraining and/or enabling contexts in which mothering takes place, and ask searching questions about what it means to be a ‘mother’ in Europe today. It will be of interest not only to those working in gender, women’s and feminist studies, but also to scholars in literary and cultural studies, and those researching in sociology, criminology, politics, psychology, medical ethics, midwifery, and related fields.
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