Whiteness and Trauma: The Mother-Daughter Knot in the Fiction of Jean Rhys, Jamaica Kincaid and Toni Morrison

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Januar 2004



This original and incisive study of the fiction of Jean Rhys, Jamaica Kincaid and Toni Morrison uses cutting edge cultural and literary theory to examine the 'knotted' mother-daughter relations that form the thematic basis of the texts examined. Using both close reading and contextualization, the analyses are focused through issues of race and contemporary theorizing of whiteness and trauma. Remarkably eloquent, scholarly and thought-provoking, this book contributes strongly to the broad fields of literary criticism, feminist theory and whiteness studies.


Acknowledgements Introduction: Unravelling the Knot 'The White Hush Between Two Sentences': The Traumatic Ambivalence of Whiteness in Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea Keeping History Safe 'Caught Between Ghosts of Whiteness': The Other Side of the Story Lucy: Jamaica Kincaid's Postcolonial Echo The Search for a Voice 'The Sea Is History' 'Knots of Death': Toni Morrison's Sula Ambivalent Maternal Inheritances The 'Gift for Metaphor' A Meditation on Silence Bibliography Index


Victoria Burrows


'[This] is a first rate literary study. By using metaphor as the instrument through which it seeks to come to terms with the vexed social and cultural issues it considers, it gives primacy to the distinctive work that literature performs...original and incisive.' - Professor Cheryl A. Wall, Department of English, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey 'This study presents a critical argument of the highest importance and offers a timely and intelligently argued intervention into feminist and trauma theory.' - Professor Linda Anderson, Department of English, Literature and Linguistic Studies, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne Winner of the Toni Morrison Society's Award for Excellence 'Victoria Burrows offers a refreshing feminist reading of the complex mother daughter relationship as traumatised by racism and gender in three important novels: Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (1966), Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid (1990) and Toni Morrison's Sula (1973)...In her introduction, Victoria Burrows had asked the readers to participate in the study by creating an image of 'a densely threaded knot, one loosely entangled so that three dimensional spaces are visible between the looped strands' (p. 1), as visual representation of the mother daughter relationship. Such an active reader role makes the reading of Whiteness and Trauma captivating.' - Claudia Capancioni, Journal of Gender Studies 'Illustrating "racialized silencing" and "belated recognition", Burrows provides close readings of three narratives that demonstrate how a repressed memory becomes the source of recurring psychic pain...Readers of these specific works and those researching literary treatments of whiteness and trauma will especially want this title. Summing up: Recommended' - CHOICE Burrows concludes by discussing Morrison's only short story, 'Recitatif' (1983), whose ending opens the 'interracial lines of dialogue' between the two characters. Burrows successfully frames her text as an attempt to the do the same in the realms of feminist and trauma studies. Burrows's attempt to illuminate the 'masked whiteness of theory' is a worthwhile task...[a] fine study, which will be of interest to literary scholars of a variety of backgrounds.' - Aili McConnon, Women:A Cultural Review 'She [Burrows] deftly weaves together the myth of Echo with the African American pattern of call and response in a wonderfully evocative reading of Kincaid's Lucy...Burrows's reading of Morrison's Sula is similarly effective' - Patricia Moran, Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature
EAN: 9781403921987
ISBN: 1403921989
Untertitel: 2004. Auflage. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Januar 2004
Seitenanzahl: 228 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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