Black American Women’s Voices and Transgenerational Trauma: Re(-)membering in Neo-Slave Narratives

This book concentrates on six neo-slave narratives written by late 20th and early 21st century black American women: Octavia Butler’s Kindred, Phyllis Alesia Perry’s Stigmata and A Sunday in June, Gayl Jones’ Corregidora, Joan California Cooper’s Family, and Athena Lark’s Avenue of Palms. It explores the process of re(-)membering of the black female characters in these novels, and shows how these authors manage to both write the transgenerational trauma of slavery and write through it, enabling black American women’s voices to be heard. This analysis of famous classics, as well as less-known books, demonstrates how black American women’s traumatic memory of slavery is inscribed in a transgenerational black female body. Conjuring up questions of narratology and intertextuality, it highlights how working-through takes the form of a narrativization of this traumatic memory by diverse means. This book also reflects upon the links between the collective and personal psyches by laying emphasis on the ineluctable intertwining of national history and individual destiny.

After her English studies, Valérie Croisille obtained her agrégation and PhD from Bordeaux Montaigne University, France, and became a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English Studies at the University of Limoges, France. A specialist in African-American and Southern United States literatures, she particularly explores the questions of memory and writing, especially focusing on the traumatic heritage left by slavery in the United States. Her publications include a comprehensive essay on the work of Ernest J. Gaines, as well as many articles on novels and short stories by American writers, such as George Washington Cable, Richard Ford, David Bradley, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison, among others.

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ISBN: 1-5275-7528-4

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-7528-8

Release Date: 8th December 2021

Pages: 155

Price: £58.99